Magazine article Public Finance

Ex-CBI Head to Lead Skills Drive in the Aftermath of Leitch

Magazine article Public Finance

Ex-CBI Head to Lead Skills Drive in the Aftermath of Leitch

Article excerpt

Sir Digby Jones, former director general of the CBI, is to head a drive to get workers and employers more engaged in training.

Following the publication of Lord Leitch's review of skills on December 5, Chancellor Gordon Brown said government and business needed to work together to achieve the tough skills objectives set out in the review.

Despite warning that the UK was set for 'undistinguished mediocrity' unless it upskilled its workforce, Leitch shied away from recommending a statutory duty on employers to train employees. Instead, employers are expected to commit to a 'pledge' to train all eligible employees to workplace Level 2 - equivalent to the possession of five good GCSEs.

'If we get the right championship from employers, we can deliver this,' he said. The pledge is backed, however, with the threat of statutory action if progress is insufficient pending a 2010 review.

Brown told MPs there was an urgent need to make progress now and announced that Jones would 'advance an agenda of: employees taking more responsibility to train; employers taking more responsibility to offer time off, with in return more say over what training is provided; and government taking more responsibility to reform and invest in training provision at work, in colleges and online'. …

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