Up-to-date skills system crucial for lifelong learning, NIACE says

Written on 1 October 2014 in News
News

NIACE were responding to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech today, in which he reaffirmed his pledge for three new million apprenticeship starts. The apprenticeship starts is part of Cameron’s dual aim, along with abolishing youth unemployment, to make sure that every young person is training, learning or earning

A skills system fit for the 21st century is paramount if the UK is to become a vibrant and dynamic economy, according to the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).

NIACE were responding to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech today, in which he reaffirmed his pledge for three new million apprenticeship starts.

The apprenticeship starts is part of Cameron’s dual aim, along with abolishing youth unemployment, to make sure that every young person is training, learning or earning.

David Hughes, chief executive of NIACE, has welecomed the plans for more apprenticeship starts but voiced his concern over the Prime Minister’s protection of budgets.

"We need an adult skills revolution in this country to deliver the Prime Minister's ambitious and laudable aims of having the fastest growing economy and for people to live a better life and get on in the jobs market. With 13.5 million job vacancies over the coming decade but only seven million new young entrants to the labour market, this is now a pressing economic necessity. I am concerned that the Prime Minister's protection of the budgets of some Whitehall departments risks the delivery of his ambitions,” Hughes said.

“The next ten years are going to see large and rising skills challenges - government, employers, education providers and individuals must work together to tackle these. For every young person entering the labour market for the first time there will be almost twice as many job vacancies. And as technology progresses people will need to keep on adapting, updating and learning new skills. The digital knowledge we have now will be outdated in five years time let alone in 50 years.

“This is why, in our manifesto, we set out six priority actions for the next government including: giving people more control over their learning with personal skills accounts; good quality careers advice and reviews at key points in people's lives; and an Apprentice Charter underpinning the ambition of three million new apprentices with a written commitment setting out the rights and responsibilities of individuals, employers and the Government. The Charter will enable everyone to identify the opportunities, experiences, support and feedback each apprentice can expect at different stages. It will also give the apprentice a clear understanding of the contribution they must make.

“We believe that these actions will lead to a skills system fit for the 21st Century, a vibrant and dynamic economy and will create a truly lifelong learning society and mean prosperity for all.”

 

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