£98m Targeted To Increase Key Sector Skills

Nearly £100 million is to be targeted at increasing the skills of workers in "vital" industries, Skills Secretary John Denham has announced.

In a speech to the CBI John Denham identified a number of industries that will be vital for the future prosperity of the UK and will require a more highly skilled workforce. These include biotech, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, renewable, energy conservation and hospitality sectors.

He announced that £98 million will be targeted at skills in key sectors of the economy.

Mr Denham said that the Government wants to ensure that British workers do not see jobs go abroad because overseas workers have higher skills, or that migrants are needed simply because local employees lack skills.

Mr Denham said that the skills system needed to be more effective at creating people with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. He called for a more effective demand led approach.

The Minister said: "If Government policy creates the expectation of future business - by supporting nuclear power, or setting out a framework for renewable energy, for example - it creates a demand for skills. And it sends a strong signal to all people and to the education system to develop skills that they know will be required for future jobs.

"Employer investment in skills is driven, like other investments, by the need to be able to meet the predicted demand for products and services. So government policy can and should be a major influence on employer investment in skills. But the reverse is equally true. If policy creates uncertainty, it will be more difficult to secure skills investment."


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