Better skills ‘to cut poverty’

Improving people’s skills over the rest of this decade will cut both absolute and relative poverty, according to three linked reports.

The Joseph Rowntree study looks at the relationship between income inequality, poverty and skills.

Key findings

  • The distribution of skills projected for 2020 will cut absolute poverty rates by 2.2 percentage points – equivalent to lifting about 1.5 million people out of poverty compared with 2008.
  • There would be a smaller impact using a relative poverty measure but relative poverty would also be cut by 1 point – lifting 500,000 people out of poverty.
  • Poverty among families with children would be cut by about 4 points using an absolute poverty line – lifting 500,000 children out of poverty.
  • There would, however, be only a small impact on income inequality.
  • Policies to boost skills levels could improve the quality of life of many people currently in poverty. But to have a more substantial effect, the skills of the lowest-income groups must be raised much further relative to others.

Sources: Mark Taylor, Tina Haux and Steve Pudney, Can Improving UK Skills Levels Reduce Poverty and Income Inequality by 2020?, Joseph Rowntree Foundation | Mark Taylor, Tina Haux and Steve Pudney, Skills, Employment, Income Inequality and Poverty: Theory, Evidence and an Estimation Framework, Joseph Rowntree Foundation | Gillian Paull and Tara Patel, An International Review of Skills, Jobs and Poverty: Implications for the UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
LinksReport (1) | Summary (1) | Report (2) | Summary (2) | Report (3) | Summary (3)

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