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Oil and gas giants join skills pledge

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Shell and BP have made new year resolutions to put training high on their agendas, by making the Skills Pledge.

This means they are committed to supporting all their employees to work towards a relevant, valuable qualification to at least Level two (the equivalent of five GCSEs at A – C grade) including basic skills such as numeracy and literacy.

According to new research from the Learning and Skills Council’s National Employer Service, training results in demonstrable benefits, ranging from increased productivity to better employee commitment and involvement in the organisation and improved employee morale. To date, 852 organisations have made the Skills Pledge, demonstrating a public commitment to their employees.

Mr Denham, secretary of state for skills, said: “By substantially increasing investment in services such as Train to Gain, the government has ensured that every company can now benefit from individually tailored skills assessment and training, delivered when and where they need it. We have also cut bureaucracy to make sure that colleges and training organisations can best meet employers’ needs, and I am committed to extending formal accreditation to employers’ in-house training programmes.

“Having visited companies across the country, I know that high-quality training makes a real difference – to the commitment and creativity of staff, to increased productivity and ultimately to the bottom line.”

The Leitch Review of Skills, published in December 2006, warned that the UK must “raise its game” on skills at all levels if it is to sustain and improve its position in the global economy. The Skills Pledge fulfils a key recommendation made in the review, at the heart of a new ‘deal’, where employers will be able to shape the skills system to meet their needs, in return for prioritising skills training at all levels.

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Annie Hayes

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