Following the most recent labour market figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive, stresses the value of apprenticeships and vocationally based training and their importance for the future of the UK economy.

According to the ONS, unemployment for the three months of August to October fell by 82,000 to 2.51 million.

Ian Taylor comments:

“One of the biggest challenges facing recruiters today is finding young people who are ready for work. Vocationally based training is the most powerful tool to develop potential, enhance skills, and magnify young people’s chances of getting work. As a Sector Skills Council we have great links with a range of training providers. We see apprenticeships as an excellent means to train and recruit employees; they enable individuals to gain hands-on experience, whilst also earning money.

“I firmly believe that we need to be creative and innovative when training our future talent pipeline. Apprenticeships are of course not perfect but by listening to employers and working alongside Government we can continue to improve them and our nation’s future employees”.

Ian’s comments come after the Richard Review, an independent report by former Dragon’s Den star Doug Richard concerning apprenticeships, published last month, suggesting that Government funding must create the right incentives for apprenticeship training. SkillsActive backs the recommendations made in the report and will be a key player in helping to coordinate an effective skills infrastructure in the UK.

Ian concluded,

“As we prepare to enter a year where we expect to see growth but at the same time anticipate tough challenges in the business environment, vocationally based training must feature prominently. SkillsActive has a great relationship with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). As a recipient of government funding, we truly understand the value of these cash injections in getting apprenticeship schemes off the ground.

All in all when considering the implementation of apprenticeships, we will continue to work alongside our employers and Government in ensuring that apprenticeships are fit for purpose and address the skills needs of our future workforce.”