A rainy winter’s night. A shabby office at the DfE. Somewhere near Watford.
Sir John: We’re thinking of rebranding knowledge post Brexit.
Jasper: [splutters] Rebranding knowledge? John, surely you’re not serious?
Rupert: Not enough workers, Jasper. No one wants to pick the fruit anyone. It’s rotting on the trees. We don’t need knowledge anymore. We need skillz.
Jasper: [takes a large swig of whisky] Skillz?
Sir John: We did it once before, when we rebranded skills to knowledge back in the day. No reason why we shouldn’t do it again. [he lights a cigar]
Jasper: [coughing] I don’t remember that, Sir John. I’m only 25. But, but skills? Aren’t those a bit common?
Rupert: Jasper, Jasper, remind me. When you had a burst pipe last year, who was it who came out to mend it?
Jasper: Well obviously it was that fabulous Polish builder that we had … before … well, you know what. [mutters under his breath] sodding Brexit
Rupert: We just need the kids to understand that all the knowledge in the world is no use if you can’t put it into action. Is that so bad?
Jasper: Well, since you put it that way, I guess I can get into the Skillz agenda. Raising the bar and all that. Hit the reboot button.
Sir John: Good lad. Good lad. So, we were thinking, Jasper. That you wouldn’t mind doing something for us.
Rupert: We’re sure it’ll be no problem. And if it is, stiff upper lip, jolly good show and all that.
Jasper: [shaking slightly] What do you need me to do?
Sir John and Rupert: Tell Nick.