Get access

Skill: the solution to low wage work?


  • Caroline Lloyd is Caroline Lloyd is reader, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and SKOPE Senior Research Fellow, Ken Mayhew is Professor of Education and Economic Performance, University of Oxford and Director of SKOPE.

Caroline Lloyd, SKOPE, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3WT; email:


During the UK Labour government's 13 years in power, raising skill levels was seen as the principal mechanism to improve the position of workers stuck in low wage jobs. This article draws together research undertaken in low wage sectors to question the assumptions that underlay Labour's approach to low pay.