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Upskilling the Workforce 09
27 Nov 2008
3rd Annual Conference. America Square Conference Centre, London

Two years on from the Leitch Review, the key challenge for education and training providers remains engaging with employers in order to understand, and meet, their skills and training demands. Demographers are predicting a rapid decrease of young people entering the labour market – some 500,000 fewer over coming years. If the UK economy is to keep pace with its main global competitors, and secure future business productivity and individual prosperity, it is vital that the UK re-skills and up-skills those already working. The Government has clearly made this “skills revolution” a priority, creating lucrative new business opportunities for education and training providers. Train to Gain funding is set to rise to over £1bn by 2010/11; a proposed right for employees to request time for training; and first full Level 3 entitlements for 19-25 year-olds coming into force this autumn. Simultaneously, business is investing more than ever before in staff training: some £39bn annually. This conference mapped the implications of policy developments for providers. Bringing together senior FE and HE representatives, private training and voluntary sector organisations, the conference considered how to develop bespoke courses in partnership with employers, how to better articulate your offer to business and how to place employers at the heart of a demand-led system.