Investment in skills must go further, warns Chief Executive
City & Guilds responds to the UK Budget
18 March 2015
The UK's Budget was announced today by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
In response, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, said:
'Today’s Budget had a common theme – job creation. From investment in large-scale infrastructure projects, to cuts in business rates for SMEs, to abolishing National Insurance for employing an apprentice – all will open up new employment opportunities, and that’s fantastic.
‘However, creating jobs is one thing, filling them is another. To fill these jobs, we need people with the right skills. The Government has already invested significantly into apprenticeships, and that’s great. But they are only part of the solution. We need to go further to bridge the gap between education and employment.
‘To do this, we need to bring careers advice into the 21st century, and use market data on skills gaps to shape the advice young people receive. That way, they’ll know what jobs are in demand, and what options are available to them.
'We also need to see more employers investing in keeping the skills of their workforces current, and preparing them for the jobs of the future.
‘Unless we do more to help young people develop the right workplace skills, vacancies will remain unfilled and skills gaps will deepen.’
Additionally, Kirstie Donnelly, UK Managing Director, said:
‘In the run up to the General Election, we have been pleased to see a consensus across all the political parties on the value and importance of vocational education for economic prosperity and growth, and in particular for expanding support and awareness of apprenticeships.
'In this budget, we particularly welcome abolishing National Insurance for employing young apprentices as we hope it will encourage more employers to create apprenticeship positions in their business.
‘Over the past three decades there has been an enormous amount of reform to the skills and employment landscape. Post-election we want to see policymakers taking a longer-term approach to help create stability in the sector, get more young people into work and fill the skills gaps that are jeopardising the economic recovery.’