Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

8.5 million workers denied training

Britain’s workplaces are facing a skills crisis, with more than one in three employers refusing to train their workers, despite government incentives. However, the North East has the best training record, with 70% of the workforce receiving accredited training - attributed to the high trade union membership in the region.According to a report by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), 8.5 million workers across the UK do not receive training. Of those who do receive training, only 11.5% receive a nationally recognised qualification. The West Midlands have the worst record in the country with 44% of the region’s workforce receiving no training.If Britain is to close its productivity gap with France and Germany in the next 15 years, 20 million people will need higher skills levels than at present. The TUC believes that Britain’s workplace skills crisis can be solved if employers and the Government invest more in adult skills, provide statutory paid time off for workers to train, and give unions and workers a stronger voice in workplace skills bargaining. This would not only help improve Britain’s productivity and competitiveness, but also address issues such as poverty and social mobility. The report points out that six million working age people have severe problems with literacy and many more have similar problems with numeracy. Brendan Barber, TUC Secretary General said: “Employers should stop complaining so much about the skills levels of their staff and spend more on training them. Despite many government incentives, one in three employers are denying training to millions of workers who need it most. And the government must legislate to make sure that workers get paid time off to train. Britain’s unions are already working in partnership with large numbers of employers, through their army of 14,000 union learning representatives, to reskill their workforces. Government investment has helped this process and it must be increased.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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