Sounds great! What are you going to retrain them as? How much time and money will it cost? Current level of retraining offered by the job centre is akin to Basic Computer Skills. To make a significant difference you need serious education. I've vented on here about the Degree situation (IE: The rules changed, Degrees are now considered basic education). There are ways of doing that, and I'm taking them. But that's still six years, with me working full time.I'd disagree about the low- skilled living life on benefits. I suspect they're more likely to be " encouraged" to upskill. Unemployed? Benefits for 3 months. Still no job? Compulsory retraining.
So lets take a low skilled worker who left school at 16 back in the 1990's with a clutch of GCSE's.
First he needs a refresher course in whatever subject.
Then he'll need the A-levels.
Then the Degree.
Even at full time study that's four years of work. Eight part time. Apprenticeships won't pay sufficient for a middle-aged person to live and support the family. Finally there's the will to do it. Some will leap in as they can see the good of it, and just need help I found myself in a similar place, but am able to build on past work and investments in myself. Others, not so much.