From education to employment

Kelly To Cover Half The Costs Of Level 3 pilot In North West and Midlands

With London hosting the 2012 Olympics there is probably no part of our economy or region that will not be affected, Ruth Kelly said today. In greatest demand will be higher level technical skills. There will be new opportunities and skills needed in transport, hospitality, logistics, cultural and creative industries and IT and every major sector, the Education and Skills Secretary added.

Speaking at a Skills summit today, she announced trials in the North West and West Midlands regions where the Government will cover up to half the cost (£40m) of training staff for a first Level 3 qualification (equivalent to 2 A levels) with plans to extend this nationwide.

“By 2012, two thirds of new and existing jobs will need Level 3 qualifications. We must focus on these priority skills needs. Currently fewer than 60% of electricians and plumbers have the crucial technical qualifications needed, and this figure is under 50% for construction. “Lack of technicians, advanced craft, skilled trade and associate professional skilled people must not hold us back. That is why today we are also calling on industry leaders to develop National Skills Academies for each major sector of the economy.

“In the past, Government has let down employers when it has tried to second guess what different sectors need. But equally, employers have been guilty of watching Government initiatives from the sidelines and expressing disappointment when they inevitably land wide of the mark.

“National Skills Academies are an opportunity for Government and employers to achieve common goals, to pursue a mutually beneficial endeavour and build a Britain of enterprise and opportunity. We aim in the long term to have one for each major sector driving the supply of skills to increase our competitiveness and modernisation of our public services.”

“With Arcadias Fashion Retail Academy coming into operation shortly and an Automotive Academy already in Birmingham we need 4 more to be developed by 2006 and 12 by 2008.

“This Governments skills strategy will ensure that we will get the people we need with the right skills who are going to make the Olympics happen, and help people get promoted into better jobs and get on at work.” Chris Banks, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council who hosted Skills Summit 2005 said:

“The productivity and competitiveness of our nation is dependent on the skills of our workforce. Today, new initiatives have been unveiled that will inspire employers to add their investment to public funding. Only by working together can we ensure that all young people and adults in our country have the knowledge and skills to match the best in the world”.

How do you think we should get ready for the Olympics? Please feel free to comment on the FE Blog FE Blog

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