Skilled Workers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th February 2017.

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Photo of Paul Monaghan Paul Monaghan Scottish National Party, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to encourage skills development in UK businesses in response to the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Department of Education) (Apprenticeships and Skills)

We are committed to ensuring we have a strong skills system that can drive increases in productivity, improvements in social mobility and help make a success of Brexit. This will be essential to the success of our Industrial Strategy, and to ensuring a sufficient supply of the right skills to the labour market as we leave the European Union.

Apprenticeships are a great way to progress in work and life, a great way for employers to improve the skills base of their businesses and we are committed to 3m starts by 2020. They work for people of all ages and backgrounds and can transform lives. We are committed to making sure that apprenticeships are as accessible as possible, to all people, from all backgrounds.

The needs and involvement of employers are central to our apprenticeship reforms. We have put employers in control of standards development and funding so that they are more responsive to the needs of business and people are equipped with the skills employers need.

Our Industrial Strategy recognises that we need to bring forward a new offer on skills and technical education that builds on the Skills Plan we published in July 2016. It sets out our ambitions for wide-ranging reform of the skills system. Central to the reforms is the creation of a simplified, high status Technical Education system consisting of 15 occupational routes, which will give learners the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for work, making them much more attractive to employers and generating a future pipeline of skilled labour. These reforms will be underpinned by our investment in specialist delivery institutions for key sectors where there are skills gaps.

As part of the Government’s work on Lifetime learning we have identified significant trends such as a decline in work-based training, with key barriers including perceptions of affordability and attitudinal inhibitors. As set out in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, The Government is committed to exploring ambitious new approaches to tackle these barriers and encourage lifetime learning, including reaching out to workers whose industries are rapidly changing or in decline, and the provision of better information

Taken to together, our skills policies will help to ensure that our businesses will have access to people with the skills that they need to be globally competitive and drive productivity.

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