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CBI concerned over lack of skills funds

first_imgThe Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has expressed concern over theGovernment’s failure to reform funding to make post-16 education more flexibleand responsive to local needs when it launched its national skills strategy inJuly. The strategy, which was launched amid fanfare and summer heat on 9 July atthe London Eye came with no immediate promise of extra funds to raise the levelof adult skills in England. The central message of 21st Century Skills: Realising Our Potential was forthe system of post-16 education in England to be truly ‘demand-led’ – plannedstrategically to meet the needs of UK plc. But employers, particularly inengineering, had been hoping for additional money to expand the programme ofModern Apprenticeships. While broadly supporting the strategy, the CBI was disappointed that theallocation of budgets for post-16 education remained highly centralised. CBI senior policy adviser Maniza Ntekim said 80 per cent of individualLearning and Skills Councils’ budgets goes straight to providers. “Locally Learning and Skills Councils only have 1-2 per centdiscretion. To really make a difference that needed to be freed up,” shesaid. “One of the areas we thought the Government could have gone furtherwith was funding reforms,” continues Ntekim. “Funding is key tochanging the system, making it more responsive and more demand-led.” Andrew McCoshan, director of international learning and skills consultancyEcotec Research and Consulting said that funding still goes through users:”If the young people going through the college door want to behairdressers, then the college provides hairdressing courses, even if what thelocal economy really needs is engineers. That means the funding has not been intune with what the local economy needs. “The skills strategy attempts to make the system more employerdriven,” he said. “It’s always been hard to get mainstream fundingmore employer-driven, so if [the Government] can crack that, it would begreat.” By Margaret Kubicek Related posts:No related photos. CBI concerned over lack of skills fundsOn 1 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more