Government invests millions to develop UK skills

Posted on 6 Oct 2011 by The Manufacturer

Business Secretary Vince Cable will today set out how new investment of more than £20m will boost skills and drive growth in key industries.

Government-matched funding of £11 million, awarded following the first round of bids to the Growth and Innovation Fund, is designed to enable employers to deliver more effective skills solutions through more apprenticeships, new professional standards and closer partnerships with education and training providers.

Speaking in advance of his keynote address at the WorldSkills competition in London, which celebrates the achievements of highly skilled young people, Dr

Cable said: “Sustained economic recovery will depend on our ability to excel in the high tech skills that our most innovative companies need to compete in the globalised economy. That is why this Government is committed to skilling up our workforce through work based training. By providing concentrated seed funding for employer led projects that attract further investment from business, we’re targeting money where it will be best placed to drive growth.”

Some of the sectors which will immediately benefit from GIF funding are:

• Renewable energy, with trade association RenewableUK, establishing a Renewables Training Network to tackle the critical shortage of skilled workers in green energy industries. The RTN will create 2,000 places on training courses specifically tailored to those wanting to make the transition into the renewable energy sector (investment: £579,583).

• Hospitality, with People 1st creating a Hospitality Guild which will broker 500 new apprenticeship places, introduce four voluntary licence to practise schemes and help 15,000 unemployed people to find work (investment: £1,745,785).

• Science based industries, with Cogent delivering an Apprenticeship Training Agency for the science based industries which will increase apprenticeship numbers in SMEs and deliver over 1,000 new apprenticeships by 2017 (investment: £889,665); a Life Sciences Skills Pathway providing over 400 new higher level apprenticeships, 500 individuals receiving technician training and 1500 work ready graduates through an employability kite marking scheme (investment: £890,876); and an SME Gold Standard competency framework, helping SMEs assess the capabilities of their employees (investment: £612,968).

• Energy & Utility Skills, with EU Skills establishing a Talent Bank for the gas, power, waste management and water industries which will create 400 new apprenticeship places and support the training of 400 high skilled technicians by 2014 (investment: £362,870).

• Creative Industries, with Skillset to develop a quality assurance framework to ensure clearly signposted training and help identify high quality job applicants (investment: £516,535).
• Nuclear, with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear to deliver a specific skills training system for manufacturing within the nuclear sector, particularly focussed on SMEs and the supply chain (investment: £925,000).

• Heath, with a new National Skills Academy for Health helping to meet skills gaps, skills shortages and occupational shortages in pharmacy, midwifery, occupational health, and facilities management (investment: £1,500,000).

Co-investment from employer groups could double these figures.