John Denham says there will be no excuses if skills targets are missed

Skills secretary John Denham has conceded the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills will have no excuses if it does not meet the targets set out in the Leitch Review.

Denham told MPs on the Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee that the department had been given enough money to achieve its ambitious goals.

“The settlement we inherited in the Comprehensive Spending Review was based on implementing the targets set by the Leitch Report over the next three years,” he said.

“It is a good settlement set against a tight spending round. The money is sufficient, but we have to engage employers and convince people they have a training need and that they should work with colleges to meet them.”

Among other targets, the Leitch Review called on the government to raise the proportion of adults with Level 2 skills from 69% in 2005 to 90% in 2020.

The government is basing its attempt to hit these targets on the Train to Gain skills brokerage system, which aims to give 500,000 people Level 2 qualifications in 2010 alone. In July, Personnel Today reported that Train to Gain was behind schedule with meeting these targets.

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