Commenting on the Government’s “Skills for Sustainable Growth” strategy, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:   

“We are pleased that the Government’s new approach to skills has business growth at its heart.  

“The Government has taken up a number of our long-standing recommendations – including the need to focus limited resources on technical skills, on apprenticeships, and on helping small-and medium-sized businesses get access to the right workforce. After all, these are the companies that will drive employment and productivity growth in the years to come.   

“Business has been crying out for more responsiveness – and for the Government to help fund leadership and management skills for small company owners, who often need this help in order to grow. The Government has signaled positive moves on these issues, but we will closely monitor whether their proposals deliver real change on the ground.   

“The real test will be whether these proposals help local businesses in towns and cities across the UK. Employers, training providers and the public sector will have to work together to ensure that qualifications really match up with business needs.   

“Skills cannot be considered in isolation from changes to benefits or immigration policies. Raising skill levels takes time. The Government cannot shut off business’s access to skilled migrants, who are filling existing workforce gaps.”