The UK’s largest trade union has slammed the government for reneging on plans that would have given workers the right to paid time off for training.
Under new proposals outlined last week, from 2010, employees will be entitled to request time off work for training after six months in a job.
However, skills minister David Lammy told Personnel Today that employers would not be obliged to pay an employee’s salary while they were undertaking training, or organise or pay for the training.
Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary of Unite, said: “Once again the government has given in to employer pressure. A right to request time off for training is meaningless. The biggest barrier to workers accessing learning or training opportunities is lack of time.
“That’s why Unite has demanded to make paid time off for training a legal right. This lets employers and business off the hook and will do nothing to address the UK’s chronic skills shortages.”
The union claimed that relying on employers to meet the training needs of the UK’s workforce had not worked. Unite said 40% of employers provided no training whatsoever and there needed to be a legal compulsion for employers to allow their workers paid time off to boost their skills.