John Denham has called for employers to convince each other to sign the skills pledge.
The skills secretary told delegates at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth today that encouragement from contemporaries was crucial to the fulfilment of the Leitch vision.
Sandy Leitch called in December for a massive increase in the UK population’s skill levels, including all companies signing a pledge to train their staff to Level 2.
Less than 300 firms have signed this pledge, and Denham asked business people to use their powers of persuasion.
“Employers have the most influence on other employers,” said Denham. “As our drive for world-class skills takes hold, attitudes will change.
“So when someone complains they are in a dead-end job, their best friend will say: ‘Get re-trained’.
“When an employer complains about the shortage of skills, others should ask: ‘What are you doing to train your staff?'”