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Vocational Training

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to address skills shortages nationally.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The coalition's skills strategy set out our plans to address the nation's skills shortages and realise our ambition to create a world-class skills base. We are addressing current weaknesses in the vital intermediate technical skills that are increasingly important as jobs become more highly skilled and technological change accelerates. We have already made significant progress in the short time since the skills strategy's publication.

We have placed apprenticeships at the heart of the system, expanding, improving and reshaping them so that technician level—Level 3—becomes the level to which learners and employers aspire. We are creating clear routes from apprenticeships to higher level training. Alongside apprenticeships there will be a wider and more flexible system of vocational qualifications that meets the needs of the economy.

In addition, we have established the Growth and Innovation Fund to support employers to be more ambitious about raising skills to reach their growth potential. And we have refocused the role of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills to be a true vehicle for economic growth and social partnership, with employers, trade unions and others coming together to give effective leadership on skills. One of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills strategic objectives is to provide high quality labour market intelligence to enable the supply of skills to be matched with demand more effectively.

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