The Employability Skills programme has been launched today by employment minister Caroline Flint and skills minister David Lammy.
The scheme is designed to help people improve their skills, find a job and progress at work. It is a joint initiative developed by the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, Jobcentre Plus and the Learning and Skills Council.
The programme has been developed especially to meet the needs of Jobcentre Plus customers, to help improve life chances for individuals and their families, and to contribute to both a reduction in child poverty and increased social mobility.
A document entitled World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England was published on 18 July by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It pointed out that a lack of skills can mean some people become trapped in a cycle between low-skilled jobs and periods of unemployment.
The Employability Skills programme provides a package of learning for the acquisition of basic skills and employability qualifications. It aims to enhance customers’ employability skills, improve their literacy, language and numeracy, find and remain in work, and ensure that their learning journey continues and is supported once they have found a job.
Lammy said: “It is important that low-skilled unemployed people have access to flexible training that gives them the skills employers value, to help them get jobs and progress in work. By assessing people’s needs based on their skills levels, they can be given structured learning programmes tailored to their needs that help them secure sustainable employment.”
Flint added: “The employability skills programme will ensure training, where necessary, in numeracy, literacy and language skills to help them find a job, and then further training to help keep people in employment once they are working.”