Continued investment in skills and apprenticeships is the key to closing the skills gap and sustaining the UK’s economic recovery, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).
The TES website gives a rundown of the group’s annual conference, which took place in Birmingham yesterday, in which AELP presented an updated version of its pre-election manifesto for employment and skills.
The organisation reiterated how imperative it is that the government continues investing in skills and to make sure that everyone is armed with a minimum level of skills – particularly functional skills in maths and English.
The manifesto will also set out the importance of continued support for adults already in work through the apprenticeship programme, to allow their learned skills to multiply.
If the messages from the parties throughout party conference season are anything to go by, it appears these objectives will be high on the next government’s agenda. Labour and the Conservatives both set out how they would expand the number of apprenticeships during the next Parliament, and the Liberal Democrats pledged to boost pay for apprentices.
AELP chief executive Stewart Segal said that training providers will be encouraged by the precedence that party leaders have placed upon apprenticeships, which will make a “significant contribution” to answering employers’ skills needs as the economy once again takes rise.
Skills Minister Nick Boles echoed Segal’s comments and said the government is committed to apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships give young people and adults the opportunity to fulfil their potential and develop the skills UK businesses need to grow and compete on the world stage,” he added.