CBI calls for fast-track access to Train to Gain

The CBI has called on the government to fast-track access to its flagship Train to Gain programme, to boost the skills of the UK workforce and help the economy recover.

In its submission about the Budget, due on 22 April, the CBI also called for greater support to newly unemployed people through better Jobcentre Plus services and temporary subsidies for masters degree courses.

A delay to the planned increase in employer national insurance contributions, currently scheduled to rise from 12.8% to 13.3% in 2011, would also help businesses employ more people, the CBI added.

Employment and skills packages would be more beneficial to the economy in the long-term than further significant fiscal stimulus, it said.

John Cridland, CBI deputy director general, said: “We need action to help firms retain and re-train staff, measures to support the unemployed and to improve our skills base.

“Investing in skills and training will help business remain competitive and ensure the UK is in pole position to take advantage of the eventual upturn.”

However, Adam Lent, head of economics at the TUC, said: “The CBI’s opposition to further fiscal stimulus makes it look dangerously complacent.”

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