UK skills crisis grows despite government’s cash injection

The skills crisis is worsening despite the time and money the government has thrown at it, employers have warned.

David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), told Personnel Today that UK training system reforms were not making any difference. He spoke out after a BCC survey revealed that more than half of the 304 employers questioned were finding it more difficult to find skilled staff today than five years ago.

“This surprises me because of all the initiatives that have been put in place,” he said. “If it is not addressed effectively, UK businesses will be severely disadvantaged.”

The government launched the Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in 2002 to address the training needs of specific industries. But the BCC’s survey showed that only one in six employers felt that their SSC effectively represented their needs.

The Sector Skills Development Agency, which funds SSCs, is to be replaced by the Commission for Employment and Skills later this year. But Frost fears this new body will be “just another layer of bureaucracy.”

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