This book investigates the development of Skills policies and structures since the Great Exhibition of 1851. Since 1851, Britain and Northern Ireland have repeatedly failed to close the productivity gap between its workers and their counterparts on the continent and in the United States. One of the major reasons for this is a continuing skills deficit. Successive governments have sought to reduce this deficit by developing various types of skills systems, but the gap remains. This book analyses these various skills systems since 1851 to identify why they have failed to resolve this issue. It concludes that employers generally remain unwilling to financially support the development of skilled workers, despite the best efforts of government to cajole, plead and threaten them under the current ‘voluntary’ model of skills development that has predominated since 1851. The book therefore recommends a return to a ‘compulsion’ model for skills training, of the type that was created through The Industrial Training Act (1964), through the use of a ‘Training Tax’ on all employers to fund the high-quality training needed to improve productivity.