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Official responses to the government Skills White Paper


A variety of organisations have issued statements giving their views on last week's publication of the Skills Strategy white paper. We summarise some of them here:

  • The CIPD has given a warm welcome to the Government's new skills strategy but cautions that delivery remains its biggest challenge. Victoria Gill, CIPD Skills Adviser comments, "The Government’s emphasis on employer demand is long overdue and represents a change of direction for the UK’s approach to workforce skills which has been supply-led for far too long. The flexibility attached to vocational qualifications and the proposed Employer Guide to Good Training are key employer benefits. However, there still remains a preoccupation with the supply of qualifications rather than workforce development. For learning to be truly integrated with business objectives, more thought needs to given to the benefits of flexible learning, e-learning and part-time study, which will become increasingly important in the long-term."

  • Sector Skills Council e-skills UK expressed its support for the White Paper and particularly welcomed the inclusion of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills alongside literacy and numeracy as the third basic skill needed for employability. Karen Price, CEO, e-skills UK said: "Sector Skills Councils, like e-skills UK, will play a central role in fulfilling the government’s skills strategy. At e-skills UK we are working with employers, educators, government agencies and employees to address four key issues; the skills supply to the sectors; workforce development at all levels; the negative stereotyping and gender imbalance within the IT sector and the need for accurate skills information across the UK."

  • The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) has applauded the new strategy as "a major step forward in ensuring UK industry has the right skills to improve its competitiveness in the global economy", highlighting in particular the entitlement to fully funded learning for all those adults who have not yet attained a quality level 2 qualification which will include level 2 management qualifications. A statement says: "ILM actively supports employers in their training needs for managers. We are pleased to see that the White Paper puts at the heart the need to ensure that employers have the right skills to support the success of their businesses and individuals have the skills they need to be both employable and personally fulfilled."

  • Awarding body EAL says it is looking forward to working on the creation of a credit framework for adult qualifications. Elizabeth Bonfield, managing director, says: "We welcome the Government's intent to put the redesign of qualifications at the heart of its Skills Strategy. EAL is constantly reviewing, and where necessary revising, the structure of its qualifications to ensure they meet employers’ current and future needs, whilst maintaining rigour and quality of the qualifications. The combination of mandatory and optional units within our NVQs offers maximum flexibility, allowing users to meet their skill requirements and progress to a full qualification as it suits them. I am encouraged that the Government sees this as the ideal way forward."

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