From education to employment

TUC welcomes the Skills for Sustainable Growth consultation

The TUC has welcomed the Skills for Sustainable Growth consultation, which was launched last week by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes, has invited employers, individuals, colleges and training providers to share their ideas about how they would like skills policy to be set out in future.

 TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “We welcome the recognition that unions can play a key role – particularly through our network of 25,000 learning reps – in encouraging employers and workers to take up training.

 “Ten million workers received no training last year so the government must use every possible lever to encourage more employers to offer staff training.”

 The consultation document outlines BIS’ vision for skills and that are expected to be the key elements of a strategy for delivering it.

“The consultation rightly focuses on the needs of the learners in delivering training,” added Mr Barber.

“The Government can achieve this by honouring the right to request time off for training, which gives workers the flexibility they need to improve their skills.”

It also looks at ways in which the funding system for FE and Skills can be simplified to ensure greater transparency for learners and employers and reduce burdens on colleges and training organisations. 

However, Mr Barker said that while “no one disputes the economic imperative for a better skilled workforce, modern research facilities, apprenticeship schemes and employer incentives to train their staff require investment as well as good will.

 “It’s therefore vital the Government’s commitment to skills is not undermined by self-defeating budget cuts.”

 Mark Astley

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