2 August 2007
MPs CALL FOR URGENT ACTION ON SKILLS TRAINING
The Education and Skills Committee today releases its report on
The report welcomes the Government's commitment to skills but states that a truly âËdemand-led' system is not yet a reality.
While supportive of the principles behind
Train to Gain, the Committee raises serious concerns about its implementation.
The Committee found that funding for
Train to Gain is unduly restrictive, preventing real choices for employers, and the inclusion of âËskills brokers' serves only as âan extra, unwelcome layer of bureaucracyâ? in the scheme. The Committee also cautions that
Train to Gain may be subsidising training that employers would otherwise have paid for themselves.
The Committee suggests that emphasising training alone is not enough. Increased economic prosperity requires urgent support for employers to address skills needs alongside âwider sustainability issues such as capital investment, innovation and workforce planning.â?
The complexity of the skills system is also questioned. The report suggests that there is still âsignificant work to be doneâ? to tackle overlap between the numerous skills agencies.
The current system can also be very confusing to learners and proposed improvements to adult advice and guidance need to be implemented urgently.
The Chairman of the Education and Skills Committee, Mr Barry Sheerman MP, said:
âWe very much welcome the increased focus on skills, but some crucial issues need addressing if the Government's high ambitions are going to be realised. More âËdemand-led' learning is a good idea in principle, but it is not currently being translated into practice. It is vital that we get skills policy right.â?