From education to employment

269 employers bid for £250m vocational training pilot

A £250m government pilot set up to help businesses design and develop their own vocational training programmes has received 269 bids from employers, according to Skills Minister John Hayes.

The so-called Employer Ownership pilot was first announced in November 2011 by Prime Minister David Cameron, and the government expects to announce winning bids later this year.

“Skills are central to the UK economy and our long-term competitiveness and we’re making excellent progress with the biggest apprenticeship programme in modern history,” said Hayes.

“That’s why the Government has put building workforce capabilities through training at the heart of our economic strategy. But there’s always more to do and because we know the skills system must be demand driven, we’re determined to put employers in the driving seat. With unprecedented focus and funding we’ll match and beat competitor nations who have always valued vocational education.

“This pilot fund will give employers the space and opportunity for greater ownership of the vocational skills agenda encouraging innovation and new thinking as we provide the platform for sustainable growth.”

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The pilots are all about encouraging innovation and partnership in an area that is critical to the growth and success of our economy. I look forward to seeing what changes we can start to make as a result of these investments.”

Natalie Thornhill

Click below to watch our exclusive interview with SFA CEO Geoff Russell on the scheme:

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