Employer relief as mandatory Level 2 training threat is put back five years

The threat of employers having to provide mandatory training has been significantly delayed after the government pushed back the date by which the skills commission will report on the issue.

Buried in the detail of Wednesday’s draft Queen’s Speech was the revelation that the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (CES) would now report on whether a statutory entitlement on training was needed in 2014-15, instead of 2010, as planned.

The CES will still report in 2010, but only on whether further institutional change is needed “to deliver a better integrated employment and skills service”.

The Leitch Review of Skills recommended that the government should consider making Level 2 (GCSE) training compulsory in 2010 if not enough employers had signed the flagship skills pledge.

In a statement, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills said: “We have decided that the 2010 review should not now consider the issue of compulsion in terms of whether the government should introduce a statutory entitlement for training for those with skills below Level 2.

“That review will now be completed in 2014-15… and would still be of fundamental importance in considering the efficacy of the skills and employment policies and systems and progress towards meeting our skills ambition. It would be making vital recommendations for government to consider and act upon. The [later] review will have the same terms of reference as for the 2010 review.”

A spokesman for the British Chambers of Commerce said: “The government’s decision to delay the review is most likely an acknowledgment that results are being achieved, and will continue to be, via the legislation-lite route.”

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