Firms bid for chance to design own training

The Government has received 269 bids from employers looking to take part in a new pilot to design and develop their own vocational training programmes, Skills Minister John Hayes has announced.

The Employer Ownership pilot invited the first round of bids earlier in the year for a share of the £250 million fund which will aims to channel public investment directly to employers so that they can invest in the training and skills development they need to develop their business.

"Skills are central to the UK economy and our long-term competitiveness," Mr Hayes said, "and we're making excellent progress with the biggest apprenticeship programme in modern history. That's why the Government has put building workforce capabilities through training at the heart of our economic strategy."

Testing the impact of greater employer ownership of the vocational training agenda is the key objective of the pilot, he explained.

The vision of greater employer ownership has been championed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) — a non-departmental public body that provides strategic leadership on skills and employment issues.

Its Chairman, Charlie Mayfield, said: "The pilots are all about encouraging innovation and partnership in an area that is critical to the growth and success of our economy. I look forward to seeing what changes we can start to make as a result of these investments."

The winners of the bids will be announced later in the year.


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