SOTA Review

The role of social enterprise in developing skills and creating employment opportunities in the UK

ERC SOTA Review No 50

Associated Themes
  • Entrepreneurship

The positive impacts that social enterprises can bring to the skills development and employability of the UK population is often assumed, but the evidence for this on a large-scale has been somewhat lacking. This review explores education, training and employment support delivered by social enterprises, in order to identify these gaps in our knowledge, and also highlights the high efficacy of social enterprise interventions in disadvantaged areas, with socially excluded individuals, and in urban regeneration. Further, the review shows how certain models of social enterprise delivery focused on employee ownership could also benefit public service delivery and hence protect jobs and build community cohesion. The review frames this evidential exploration within a critique of the existing UK policy environment surrounding skills development and employment, to highlight how policy and funding could be used to grow the impact of social enterprise in the above areas.