From education to employment

SSDA Chief Exec addresses LLUK annual conference

The UK’s skills deficit is costing the economy up to an astonishing £80 billion per year, equivalent to over £1,300 per person.

Chief Executive of the Sector Skills Development Agency, Mark Fisher, yesterday addressed the Lifelong Learning UK annual conference, issuing a sharp warning that the UK stands to lose billions more if Lord Leitch’s final report is not swiftly enacted.

He said: “For the UK to be internationally competitive, we believe it is vital that the education and training system is simplified, streamlined and more responsive to employer needs. Lord Leitch’s review of skills gives us a blueprint for achieving that”.

“Undoubtedly, these recommendations present a challenge ““ for government, for employers and for all those involved in the development and delivery of skills. However, they also represent a huge opportunity ““ one which we simply cannot afford to miss”.

The warning echoes that of Lord Leitch made in both his interim and final report, commenting that more needs to be done at all levels; India and China, as quoted, are producing thousands more highly skilled workers, shifting the onus that traditionally rested on high volume, low-cost manufacturing.

“I believe that Sector Skills Councils will play a vital role in this fundamental reshaping of the skills system. However it will take concerted action by all the partners in the skills system working together to achieve Lord Leitch’s ambitions. This is a huge opportunity for everybody”.

Vijay Pattni.

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