Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on education and training setting out plans for apprenticeship reform and Further Education upgrades, Joe Fitzsimons, Head of Education and Skills Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
"More action on skills will be absolutely essential to ensuring our economy is fit for the future, particularly as it recovers from coronavirus. More support for flexible learning is an important step in the right direction, while many employers will welcome the focus on upgrading our further education system.
“The promise of greater funding for SME apprenticeships is a very positive move, but the prospect of greater flexibility is just as important. Apprenticeship starts have been down since the Levy set-up was introduced. The rigid system has caused headaches, and seeing unspent funds evaporate has been a particular frustration. With the pandemic also taking its toll, it’s good to see Government taking heed of employers’ concerns.
“One area still requiring more emphasis is that of management and leadership skills. This has long been an Achilles’ heel for the UK, and directors will hope it is addressed in the White Paper expected later this year.”