By Marcus Leach

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is today (Tuesday) urging employers to develop high quality bids for the £250 million pledged by the Prime Minster last month to fund employer-led training programmes.

The call comes as the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) publishes a report, Employer ownership of skills, calling for greater involvement of employers in the UK’s skills system. It recommends that employers should be funded directly for apprenticeships via the tax system and incentivised to provide work experience.

It also advises that employer investment in adult training should move away from qualification-based provider funding to employer-based investments and loans, and that public funding for skills development should complement investment by employers and employees.

“There is a perception amongst some employers today that the UK’s training system does not always provide the skills the labour market needs," Katerina Rüdiger, Skills Adviser at the CIPD, commented.

"There’s no doubt that a greater employer involvement in the skills system will help to increase the relevance and quality of the training delivered, which is why we welcome the UKCES’ proposal for greater employer ownership of the skills system and greater transparency of funding for skills development activities.

“Placing the employer at the heart of this means that they will have a collective responsibility to get this right, as there will be no more excuses to hide behind. This is a chance for employers to take a more long-term approach to workforce planning and to be pro-active in growing their own workforce.

"The Prime Minister has already pledged to invest up to £250 million in a pilot of innovative employer-led training programmes: now it’s up to employers to develop high quality bids to engage with this funding so that the benefits can be reaped and the pilot can pave the way for a more comprehensive employer-led overhaul of the funding of the skills system.”

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