From education to employment

Technician skills under parliamentary inquiry

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched to investigate how the UK can ensure it has a skills system capable of taking advantage of a resurgence in manufacturing.

The cross-party, industry led inquiry will examine the future of technician and higher level skills, which will be crucial for supporting a government ambition to rebalance the UK economy with a more production-led focus.

Microsoft, BT and other major employers have agreed to work together with leading FE figures, including Sir Mike Tomlinson and Frank Mcloughlin, to support the inquiry, led by the Skills Commission.

Professor Alison Halstead, chair of the Skills Commission inquiry, said: “The government has recognised the importance of technical skills to growing the UK’s manufacturing and engineering industries. This timely inquiry will build on the recent Wolf report on 14-19 education by focusing on the next stage; technical vocational and professional skills for adults including apprenticeships and higher level education.

“With input from leading employers and educational providers we will explore whether the current system is capable of training people to meet their personal ambitions and the needs of the economy.”

The inquiry will also seek contributions from SMEs and colleges through a series of regional evidence sessions across the UK to understand key challenges they face in training technicians.

The Commission will publish its final report in July.

Susannah Fairbairn

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