More than £38bn spent on training to beat skills shortages

Training spend per employee hit a record high last year, latest figures show.

The National Employer Skills Survey 2007, published by the Learning and Skills Council, found the average money spent per employee on training increased by 11% from £1,550 in 2005 to £1,750 in 2007.

Overall spend on training reached £38.6bn, up 16% from 2005, accounting for an increase in real terms of £3.5bn after inflation.

The research showed the proportion of vacancies that could not be filled because of skills shortages is down from 25% in 2005 to 21% in 2007, affecting 5% of employers.

Skills secretary John Denham said: “The need to improve the nation’s skills is a key priority for the government as we face increasing competition from across the globe. It is vital for everyone – businesses, employees and government – to work together to ensure we have the skills we need to succeed.”

The survey of 79,000 employers also found 12% more black and minority ethnic groups and 31% more workers aged 46 and over had used Train to Gain – the government’s skills brokerage service – in 2007 compared to 2005.

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