Shell, BP, utility Scottish & Southern Energy and disability employer Remploy are part of a group of eight companies which have signed up to the skills pledge in the New Year.
The pledge fulfils a key recommendation made in the Leitch Review of Skills, published in December 2006, by committing to support their employees to attain a minimum Level 2 qualification.
Other companies announced by John Denham, secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills at the QE2 Conference Centre include electronics firms Delphi Diesel Systems & Delphi Lockheed Automotive, tyre and exhaust specialist Kwik-Fit (GB), package holiday expert TUI Travel, and IT company Fujitsu Services.
To date, 852 organisations have made the pledge, while a new government poll of 201 companies found that 90% of respondents said training had already resulted in demonstrable benefits.
Denham urged more companies to reap the benefits of training. He said: “I urge all other employers to follow suit. We have cut bureaucracy to make sure that colleges and training organisations can best meet employers’ needs, and I am committed to extending formal accreditation to employers’ in-house training programmes.
“Having visited companies across the country, I know that high-quality training makes a real difference – to the commitment and creativity of staff, to increased productivity and ultimately to the bottom line,” he added.