Skills envoy warns government needs to develop a flexible skills pledge

The government needs to develop a flexible skills pledge or face the “nightmare” of regulation, skills envoy Digby Jones has warned.

After car manufacturer Honda told Personnel Today that it would not sign the pledge because it already offered adequate training, Jones called on the Learning and Skills Council, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Sector Skills Development Agency to adapt the pledge to fit companies’ needs.

Jones said that if companies like Honda didn’t sign the pledge by 2010, the new prime minister Gordon Brown would be forced to make it mandatory for employers to offer Level 2 training to staff.

“Then a company like Honda would be told they could not do it their own way. That would be a nightmare,” said Jones.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber called on employers to “not be so quick to undermine” the skills pledge.
He said: “It seems a bit premature for employers to denounce the whole process.”

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