Skills policies across the UK are fracturing, and “now pull in opposite directions across the four nations” according to a new report from Energy and Utility Skills. The group wants to convene a ‘Four Nations Advisory Group’ to develop equivalence, comparability and a level playing field for skills across the UK.
In a new white paper the skills organisation warned that unless there was parity across jurisdictions, “the training and skills apprentices have gained will never be truly portable or universally recognised across the UK”. It warned that with Brexit in view “Now is the time for a UK-wide ‘call to arms’ to forge a streamlined approach to ensuring a skilled, resilient and sustainable workforce”.
EU Skills interviewed 25 UK companies that together have a turnover of £27 trillion, support a total workforce of 154,142 people and pay an annual apprenticeship levy of £37.5 million. It found that lack of parity around funding rules and systems across the UK was “directly and tangibly” affecting recruitment and training for nearly 3,000 apprentices in training and over 8,000 that should be recruited by 2019.
In addition, disparity between the funding rates in England and the devolved nations “is a live source of frustration and inefficiency,” EU Skills said.
Read the white paper