Leitch skills pledge gathers momentum as employers begin to see the benefits

More than 400 companies have now signed the government skills pledge to train their staff to Level 2 by 2010, almost double the number committed to the initiative in September.

Lord Sandy Leitch called for the pledge as a result of his review of skills in the UK, which warned that if businesses and the government did nothing to improve basic skills by 2020, the country would face a “bleak future”.

Yesterday the Learning and Skills Council announced the latest additions to the pledge, which was launched in June, including business support organisation Interserve and outsourcing firm EDS, which together cover thousands of employees.

The latest boost for the pledge suggests that, after a slow start, employer support for the initiative is beginning to grow.

Skills minister David Lammy claimed the pledge now covered more than 2.5 million employees across the UK.

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