From education to employment

Companies spend record amount on training

Survey reveals a nation more committed to training than ever before   The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has released its findings from the National Employer Skills Survey 2007 (NESS07). The results show that companies have spent a record £38.6 billion on training, up 16 per cent from 2005. The amount accounts for a rise in real terms of £3.5 billion after inflation. More than two thirds of the country’s businesses spent a combined total of 218 million days training their workforces last year. The average money spent per employee on training rose 11 per cent from £1,550 in 2005 to £1,750 in 2007. The research also reveals that the proportion of vacancies that can’t be filled because of a skills shortage has fallen from 25 per cent in 2005, to 21 per cent in 2007, and affects five per cent of employers. 

The Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, Chris Banks, said: “These findings are extremely encouraging. Never before have so many employers invested so much in staff training their workforce. Employers are clearly seeing that training is helping to shape the future of their businesses and is the solution to their skills needs. The challenge now is to encourage more employers to invest in their staff in this way, so that we can close the skills gap further.”


There has also been an increase in take-up of Train to Gain. The Government’s skills advice and support service aims to give employers access to the right training to help their business succeed. Evaluation of the service has found that 80 per cent of employers and 77 per cent of employees have been satisfied with the training and advice received. Additionally, 80 per cent of employers questioned would recommend the service to a colleague outside their organisation, and over three thirds would be likely or very likely to use the service again. Train to Gain has proved instrumental in reaching parts of the workforce that are often unable to access training, with higher than average take up from black and ethnic minority groups at 12 per cent, and workers aged over 46 at 31 per cent.


Rt Hon John Denham (MP), Secretary of State, said: “The need to improve the nation’s skills is a key priority for the Government as we face increasing competition from across the globe. It is vital for everyone – businesses, employees and Government – to work together to ensure we have the skills we need to succeed. It is very encouraging to see that 77,000 more companies trained their staff last year and I urge all businesses, regardless of size or sector, to follow their lead and invest in training.”

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