In response to today’s publication of World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England, Natalie Evans, Head of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Today’s report is a step in the right direction. There is much that employers will support, not least the expansion of Train to Gain beyond Level 2 to include match-funding for Level 3 training. This is vital if UK firms are to compete in a knowledge economy and is a first step in addressing the UK’s deplorable skills.


“However, we remain concerned about the Government’s continued focus on the Skills Pledge. Our own research found that employers already train their staff and we welcome the commitment to make it easier to accredit in-house training provided by firms.  The Pledge risks diverting resources into paper-chasing and bureaucracy.  The timing of the review of the Pledge in 2010 is out of kilter with government initiatives to increase the amount of training in the workplace.


“We urge the Government not to introduce legislation making it easier for Sector Skills Councils to introduce levy schemes. Sector Skills Councils are not engaging or communicating effectively with SMEs. Their objectives and success should be reviewed, rather than giving them the power to introduce training levies.”