No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Leitch Review: Employers Must Make Greater Investment in Skills


Employers should have greater input into training if Britain is to plug its skills gaps and remain competitive, a key report recommends.

Lord Leitch's report Prosperity for all in the Global Economy: World Class Skills paints a gloomy picture of current UK skills, and warns that even if current targets are met, the UK will still lag behind comparable countries in 2020. It also identifies the growing challenge of emerging economies such as China and India.

The report calls for radical change with full or part-time education or training compulsory up until the age of 18.

Leitch said: "Without increased skills, we would condemn ourselves to a lingering decline in competitiveness, diminishing economic growth and a bleaker future for all. The case for action is compelling and urgent."

Employers are also called upon to increase their investment in skills, currently estimated at £33bn, to include funding staff skills to degree level. There would be a new 'pledge' for employers to train all eligible employees to level 2.

One in three employers currently fail to invest in staff skills at all, according to the report.

The report warned there were too many vocational qualifications and called for a new careers service to be created in England.

Along with employers, government too needs to increase investment, from 1% of GDP to 2% in line with countries like Australia and the USA.

It calls on the government to route all adult vocational skills funding through Train to Gain and Learner Accounts by 2010.

The report points out that 5 million adults lack functional literacy and more than 17 million have difficulties with numbers.

More than one in six youngsters leave school unable to read, write or add up properly.

Following the recommendations of the report would result in a more prosperous and productive society, Leitch said, with lower unemployment and levels of poverty and inequality. The net financial benefit would be £80bn over three years, he estimates.

Leitch targets for 2020:

* 95% of adults gain basic skills in literacy and numeracy, with the government primarily responsible for funding.

* More than 90% of adults with GCSEs or vocational equivalents with funding shared between the government and employers.

* Apprenticeships to double to 500,000 a year.

* More than 40% of adults with degrees or higher level qualifications, mostly funded by employers or individuals.

Commenting on report Margaret Salmon, Chair of the Sector Skills Development Agency, which funds and supports the network of employer-led Sector Skills Councils said: “Employers have stepped up to the mark in supporting their Sector Skills Councils. They are now looking for ‘a deal for a deal’ as they increase their investment in skills in the knowledge that education and training at last looks like being better aligned with the development needs of the UK workforce.”

The CBI also welcomed the report. Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI said: "Business already spends £33bn a year on training and is more than willing to play its part in upskilling the workforce further to safeguard the UK's competitiveness. The CBI will encourage its members to respond to Leitch's call for employers to help their employees gain a basic skills and GCSE-level qualification by using the Government's 'Train to Gain' initiative."

* Related stories:
Leitch Review in Detail
Leitch Review: Employers Respond


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!