6 July 2015

Build on growing employer confidence, says Martin Dunford OBE

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, in his role as Chairman of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), has called on Government to deliver stability in the employment and skills policy. He said longer term contracts for training providers and more realistic funding are also needed in order to build the confidence of employers to invest in skills and achieve the target of 3 million new apprenticeships.

Speaking at the AELP national conference on 22 and 23 June, Martin Dunford welcomed the fact that many of the key proposals that AELP had made in its own manifesto have appeared in the Government’s plans, with the Prime Minister giving employment and skills, and in particular apprenticeships, a high profile in the election campaign. This, he said, was down to the hard work of providers and the employers who are embracing high quality apprenticeships.

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive, Skills Training UK, said: “We have a real opportunity to build on the growing confidence employers and learners have in vocational pathways.  Young people and their parents are now considering different routes to high level skills.  We have to build on this change.”

The results of the Skills Funding Agency’s recent FE Choices survey show very high rates of satisfaction from learners and employers. In a survey of 52,000 employers 77% said they are satisfied, giving a score of 8-10 for likelihood to recommend their training provider.  Employers were especially positive about the professionalism of the staff delivering the training (79% gave a rating of 8-10), the flexibility of the training (75% gave a rating of 8-10), and the use of up-to-date industry practices (74% gave a rating of 8-10).

The AELP pre-election manifesto set out a number of recommendations to support employers and individuals to get the skills they need to enter work and to progress in their careers, including measures to help safe guard opportunities for young people through effective Traineeship and Apprenticeship delivery.

AELP also called for the government to carry on backing the upskilling of adults already in work through the Apprenticeship programme.  In AELP’s view, their goals can only be achieved if Apprenticeships are offered across all ages, all sectors and at all levels.

Skills Training UK works with employers across England in a wide number of business and industry sectors to offer tailored Apprenticeship programmes to their employees.

It has also designed bespoke, tailored Traineeships for Industry and Traineeships for the Services Sector to help move 16-24 year-olds out of unemployment. By delivering training that employers value, and matching the individuals to a suitable work placement, the aim is to develop young people with the right skills that employers want to hire. 

For more information about AELP see www.aelp.org.uk

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