3 February 2015

Training is key to overcoming skills shortage and sustaining economic recovery

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, in his role as Chairman of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), has launched AELP’s updated pre-election manifesto for employment and skills at its annual autumn conference on 15 October.

The running theme of the conference was the need to invest in skills in order to deliver economic growth and tackle the growing skills shortage affecting UK businesses.

The manifesto sets out a number of recommendations that would 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.

To help employers struggling with skills shortages, AELP is also calling for the government to carry on backing the upskilling of adults already in work through the Apprenticeship programme.  The two main party leaders have committed to a massive expansion of Apprenticeships during the next Parliament but, in AELP’s view, their goals can only be achieved if Apprenticeships are offered across all ages, all sectors and at all levels.

The AELP manifesto adds that adults must have access to better information about the labour market and the training options which respond directly to local skills needs.

Martin Dunford, OBE, Chief Executive, Skills Training UK, said: “The emphasis of the updated manifesto mirrors the feedback we’re hearing from employers. The focus now, more than ever, is on the skills gap and how best to overcome it – employers need to invest and think ahead about how they wish to expand and the skillset they will need to support that growth.

“It’s not all about recruiting new talent; investing in existing employee teams to increase competitiveness and provide a pipeline of talent within the workforce are equally important. The Skills Training UK tailored Apprenticeship programmes offer that opportunity to further develop the potential of existing employees as individuals and workplace teams so they can make a better contribution in areas like improving quality, efficiency and profitability.”

Skills Training UK is working 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 and launched bespoke, tailored Traineeships for Industry and Traineeships for the Services Sector to help move 19-24 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.

A copy of the newly revised AELP manifesto, Manifesto for driving an economic recovery, is available here

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