Chancellor Gordon Brown and education secretary Alan Johnson call on employers to sign up to skills pledge

Chancellor Gordon Brown and education secretary Alan Johnson have called on all employers to sign up to a ‘skills pledge’ to ensure that all workers reach a level equivalent to five good GCSEs.

The pledge follows Lord Leitch’s report into skills in December highlighting the need to achieve world-class skills by 2020.

Brown said: “In the future, skills will be the only route to prosperity and jobs. Of 3.4 million unskilled jobs today, by 2020, we will need only 600,000. So if the UK is to continue to succeed in the new global economy, we will need to be more ambitious with more people training and employers, employees and government each meeting their responsibilities.”

The government has already welcomed the Leitch aspiration to have at least 90% of working age adults qualified to Level 2 – the vocational equivalent to five good GCSEs – by 2020 to retain and drive forward competitiveness.

Employers making the skills pledge would commit to a training plan building on the needs of their business. The plan would show timescales for training all staff to Level 2, as well as committing resources and setting priorities.

Johnson added: “Employers have a crucial role to play in this and must make skills training relevant for the challenges of the future. It is also vital we generate a culture of learning among individuals.”

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