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Budget’s Skills Package


Chancellor Gordon Brown has unveiled a range of measures aimed at boosting Britain's skills.

Brown said that in the face of global competition the key to Britain's future prosperity would rely on making "the right decisions to be world leaders in science, enterprise and education."

He announced his support for the new Union Learning Academy and a further £65m to Employer Training Pilots this year. The pilots aim to boost the basic literacy and numeracy of employees, and are targeted at SMEs who could otherwise not afford training.

He also set out plans for new centres for vocational qualifications and entrepreneurship in areas of high ethnic minority unemployment.

Building on the government's commitment to extend education and training opportunities to 16 to 18 years olds who have left school, the Chancellor announced two new pilot schemes.

The first will offer employers financial incentives to put their young employees on apprenticeships. The negotiated 'Learning Agreement' would apply to all 16 and 17 year olds in work with no training. The aim is to test a range of financial incentives to encourage employers and employees to take up apprenticeships.

The second scheme will offer financial support to 16 and 17 year olds who are not in education, training or employment in return for a commitment to progress towards formal learning.



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