There is persistent evidence over several decades that the UK lags behind its international competitors in terms of the skills and qualifications of its workforce, with a detrimental impact on overall economic performance. The most recent attempt by the UK government to address this includes a new strategy aimed at increasing the degree of integration between skills policy and employment policy in the UK. In light of this development, this review paper considers the extensive international evidence on the role and effectiveness of training and skills interventions, as part of a broader portfolio of active labour market policies. The review concludes that while large-scale, ‘broad brush’ schemes have little impact as part of such a portfolio, more targeted programmes addressing specific skill needs may have some impact on employment chances of workless groups.