Not all employers are convinced by Leitch’s skills pledge

Some employers are still unconvinced that making the skills pledge outlined in the Leitch report will have real benefits in the workplace.

The pledge is a promise to help every eligible employee to gain basic skills and a level two qualification. Employers are reporting concerns about the quality of training given by the government’s skills agencies and show a disappointing awareness of, and concerns about Train to Gain, the government’s flagship skills initiative.

Two-thirds of UK employers do believe that the government is right to prioritise basic skills training. The latest quarterly CIPD/KPMG Labour market outlook survey showed that while 27% said they are very likely and 27% said they are fairly likely to make the skills pledge, there is still a challenge ahead to convince all employers that it is worthwhile. Approximately 41% of employers surveyed are either indifferent, uncertain, fairly unlikely or very unlikely to make the pledge.

Gerwyn Davies, co-author of the report, said: “These findings underline the [CIPD’s] scepticism towards the extent to which government can influence how organisations should spend their training budgets. With a majority of employers reporting that the current skills agencies are not meeting their needs, any voluntary pledge must give employers sufficient flexibility to meet their individual needs. Employers will only invest in training if there is a clear business case for them to do so, so financial incentives might form a part of the developing policy mix.”