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Annie Hayes

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Questions asked as Skills Pledge commitment dips to 13%

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Just 13% of employers have signed the Employer Skills Pledge, a voluntary commitment from companies to support all employees in the development of basic skills.

A recent report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that over half of organisations’ learning and development work has not been influenced by the skills agenda.

In response to the findings, Lord Leitch has presented evidence to the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) select committee showing that despite the news, nearly half of employers report that they are considering or would consider signing up to the Employer Skills Pledge or the ‘Train to Gain’ initiative.

Additionally, while some organisations may not have been influenced by the Leitch recommendations, findings show respondents are actively involved in learning and development. Nearly 80% of respondents have specific training budgets, with an average training spend per employee of £300.

Literacy and numeracy are still concerns for employers – but 87% feel that government should address these gaps.

Sarah Van Der Heyden, policy adviser at the CIPD, said: “There is a danger that the government’s drive to equip everyone with basic skills may be coming at the expense of the urgent need to develop higher level skills on a more selective basis. This may be one reason behind the relatively low take up of initiatives following Lord Leitch’s report and the select committee should ask his views on how this can be addressed.”

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Annie Hayes

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Read more from Annie Hayes
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