Skilled workforce vital for economic growth19 March 2014
NIACE urged the Chancellor, George Osborne, not to ignore the vital contribution that skills training for adults can make to business productivity and economic growth. Ahead of the Budget, Tom Stannard, NIACE Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:
“Sustained economic growth relies on a skilled workforce and it’s absolutely essential that there are opportunities for all adults, and not just those under 24, to have access to a broad range of quality opportunities. It is also vital that they have access to progression routes to improve their skills – from entry level English & maths to Higher Education. This will contribute to economic regeneration, economic growth and economic prosperity. NIACE is concerned that the recent cut to the Adult Skills Budget, of almost 20 per cent, announced in the recent Skills Funding Statement, will harm the prospects for many adults and will mean that they will not have the opportunities they need to progress at work and in life.
“With colleges and training providers facing significant cuts, there is a danger that crucial provision will be axed. Much of the responsibility to address this now falls to the Local Enterprise Partnerships, Enterprise Zones, local authorities and employers and they must work in partnership with further and higher education providers to ensure that local economies and sectors can address urgent skills shortages and individuals, families and communities can continue to benefit through economic and social growth.”