Skills Pledge sign-up low as only 13% of UK employers take an interest

Only 13% of UK employers have signed the Skills Pledge more than a year after its launch, new research has revealed.

A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that the skills agenda had not influenced half (53%) of organisations’ learning and development work, despite the majority reporting the need for a broader range of skills in two years and 44% needing a higher level of skills.

The Skills Pledge is a voluntary commitment by a company to support all its employees to develop their basic skills.

Almost half of respondents said they would consider signing up to the Skills Pledge or the Train to Gain initiative.

The CIPD also found that almost 80% of respondents have specific training budgets, with an average training spend per employee of £300. However, nearly nine in 10 respondents believe it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that young people are educated to appropriate standards of numeracy and literacy.

Sarah Van Der Heyden, policy adviser at the CIPD, warned that the government’s drive for basic skills could come at the expense of the urgent need to develop higher level skills on a more selective basis.

“This may be one reason behind the relatively low take up of initiatives following Lord Leitch’s report and the Select Committee should ask his views on how this can be addressed.

“The large proportion of employers considering signing up to government skills initiatives demonstrates that there is much to play for,” Van Der Heyden said.

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