The Cabinet Office Strategy Unit has highlighted a shortage of skills as one of the key long-term strategic challenges facing the UK.
Drawing on an analysis of trends and future projections from inside and outside government, the report "Realising Britain's Potential: Future Strategic Challenges for Britain" says the country is well placed to address the crucial issues facing Britain over the next 10 to 15 years.
The report identifies future challenges and opportunities that cut across traditional policy and departmental boundaries, including:
• Economic prosperity
• Life chances, talent and social mobility
• The ageing and increasing diversity of the population
• Family life and communities
• Crime and public safety
• Public services
• Climate change
• Renewal of the constitution and our democratic institutions
The report concludes that promoting the skills and talents of the people of Britain, improving opportunities to succeed from early years through to adulthood, will be crucial in responding successfully to the competitive pressures global changes will place on Britain over the coming years.
The prime minister Gordon Brown said, "The report shows us that the real success stories in the coming years will be those nations that harness the skills of their people, attracting more than their share of the top global jobs and mobilising the talents of all.
"I have referred to this as the skills race - a race we can win, and we must win."