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Employers “Should be Compelled to Provide Training”


The TUC has called on the Government to compel employers to train their workforce.

The appeal came in the TUC's response to the Labour Party's Big Conversation consultation exercise, which challenged the Government to introduce a manifesto for the workplace.

The Congress said that the country needed a major new training initiative aimed at making as big an impact on the employed workforce as the New Deal has done for the unemployed.

It said this needed to include new compulsions on employers to train, and a new union-led institution to have a major role in delivering training.

The TUC submission, The Place of Work in a Fairer Britain states: "Relying on voluntary employer action will not deliver the skills revolution that we need. All employers need to be given obligations to train and develop their staff. "

It also called for reform of the pensions system, a crackdown on long working hours, investment in childcare and greater recognition of the importance of manufacturing.

Congress General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "No one should doubt the positive changes at work since 1997, but there is much unfinished business, and some that has not even been started. Work is where most of us spend a large part of our waking hours, and in this document unions are challenging government to spell out how they will make work a better place to be."

Recommendations include:
* All employers to be given obligations to train and develop their staff.
* A drive to tackle the lack of qualifications and skills at board room level and managerial levels.
* A union institution to be created to empower employees to access learning and skills in the workplace.
* Employer Training Pilots to be extended nationwide.
* A statutory right for adults without a level 2 qualification to negotiate reasonable paid time off with their employer to achieve such a qualification.
* Reforming rules for tax relief on subscriptions to professional bodies in order to focus on organisations that contribute to promoting workforce skills and development.


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