Bekki Phillips
Image Source: Jim Mayer
Bekki Phillips, MD of In-Comm Training
Russ Cockburn

Training provider calls on new Government to embrace an employer-led approach to skills

Bekki Phillips, Managing Director of In-Comm Training in the West Midlands, reacts to the results of the election and what the future might have in store for skills…

The biggest thing for business is that hopefully we now have an end to uncertainty and the Government – with a working majority – can start to look to the future and implementing some of its policies to support the economy.

It is vitally important we continue to plan and build environments that ensure individuals have the right skills to move our country forward, as we start to forge new alliances in the world of trade deals and make the most of the UK’s position in digital manufacturing and ‘green’ technologies.

The Conservative manifesto talks about a £3bn National Skills Fund that will provide match funding for SMEs and individuals and this is something we cautiously welcome.

As always, the devil is in the detail and we need to ensure whatever additional money that comes into training and skills is channelled in the right way and should be led by employers. This approach would avoid the type of issues that have held the Apprenticeship Levy back.

A major cash boost for college estates has also been mentioned and, whilst this is good news on the whole, we should not forget the role private sector training providers play in delivering skills provision and engaging with business.

Working with local companies, we have invested £7.5m into our three Technical Academies in the Black Country and Shropshire and these are really reaping dividends, creating a strong pipeline of apprentices that meet the region’s skills needs.

We believe this is the blueprint on how training - both apprenticeships and upskilling courses - should be delivered in this new world we find ourselves in.

Business has been stagnating for too long whilst we’ve waited to get an outcome with Brexit…now is the time to be positive and forge ahead with plans for the future.

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