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Employers Urged to Make Skills Pledge

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The government is calling on employers to sign up to a "Skills Pledge" to ensure that all their employees reach the equivalent of five good GCSEs.

The pledge, according to the government, is designed to stimulate demand for training services and “support a new culture where gaining skills is taken as a matter of course”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown said: "In the future skills will be the only route to prosperity and jobs. Of 3.4 million unskilled jobs today, by 2020 we will need only 600,000. So if the UK is to continue to succeed in the new global economy we will need to be more ambitious with more people training and employers, employees and government each meeting their responsibilities.”

An employer making the Skills Pledge will commit to raising the skill levels of all employees, giving staff certified competence in the workplace, along with literacy, numeracy and employability skills.

Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Alan Johnson said: “We are kick-starting a public debate on the best way to improve skills in this country, our future competitiveness depends on it. Employers have a crucial role to play in this and must make skills training relevant for the challenges of the future.”

The move comes in the wake of the Leitch Review of skills, which called for at least 90% of working age adults to be qualified to Level 2 - the vocational equivalent to five good GCSEs - by 2020.

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