The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on all political parties to bring in new policies to tackle the issue of skills shortages across many areas of the UK workforce ahead of the general election next year.
Skills and productivity issues continue to be felt across many industries, with a lack of qualified staff coming through education in some sectors and existing workers being improperly utilised by many firms.
This is the view of the organisation's Manifesto for Work, which has set out a number of policy initiatives that could be of benefit to the nation as a whole in the years ahead.
Policy recommendations for political parties include identifying the skills that are most in demand among employers and ensuring all staff are managed and developed with these goals in mind.
In addition, a long-term view on corporate governance is required to focus on increased measures for how individuals drive value within an organisation. Furthermore, a focus on diversity as an important contributor to business success should be achieved.
Greater support for improved careers guidance is also highlighted as a must for all political parties, with youth enterprise education forming a greater part of the national curriculum, while more high-quality apprenticeships need to be created.
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, commented: "Too much of the political debate focuses only on absolute issues about whether people are in work or not, or technical issues around the regulation of the workplace. There are much bigger prizes for policymakers to aim for.
"A bold focus on improving work is precisely what we need to secure our national economic performance for the long term."
He added that improving work in all its forms should be at the heart of future government policy and therefore all political parties need to be prepared to tackle this issue head on within the next parliament.