Employers have their say on training needs

Employers
are to be given a greater say about education and training in a move to help
lower skill shortages.

Ivan
Lewis, minister for adult learning and skills, is pulling together employers,
unions, education and training providers key partners to look at how best to
tackle each region’s individual skill shortages.

He
will publish the results, which will form part of the Government’s skills
strategy, in the spring.

The
announcement comes as the Department for Education and Skills published the
latest Employers’ Skill Survey.

The
survey found that:


skill shortage vacancies in professional occupations have increased since 1999


more than one in five employers reported an internal skills gap affecting
around 1.1 million employees


it is particularly difficult to find suitably-qualified people to fill
vacancies in the construction, health, and social care sectors

Estelle
Morris, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, said: "It’s
absolutely vital that we listen to the needs of employers. We want them to tell
us how their industry’s needs are changing to ensure that what we offer in
colleges and training meets their demands."

"We
need more people, in more businesses with the knowledge and skills to develop
high-value products and services, and the innovation to match global
competition.

"Too
much vocational and adult learning is of variable quality and is not matched to
the skills actually required by employers."

By Paul Nelson

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