Government and business boost UK workforce with £165 million co-investment in skills

They are the first round of winners taking part in the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP). They will receive a share of £67 million and will more than match the funding by investing a combined total of £98 million.

Included within the round one projects are radical proposals from Siemens, Arla Foods UK and BAE Systems to train employees not just within their own company but also within their supply chains.

Others include Manchester Airport‘s proposal to create an academy for school leavers, offering 1-2-1 coaching, employability skills, work experience and qualifications. Nissan is addressing skills shortages in the automotive industry by designing 14 training programmes for over 3000 staff, within the company and at local suppliers.

Launching the strategy at Imperial College, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This fund underlines our commitment to strengthening the economy and making sure that the UK workforce has the skills that businesses need.

“On a recent fact-finding trip to Germany I saw first hand how forward-thinking companies were enjoying the benefits of training their supply chain companies, so I am particularly excited that we have received a number of bids to do the same in the UK.

“The breadth and scope of these projects show how central skills are to our long-term competitiveness, across all sectors and in all corners of the country. I am delighted that these employers have taken this challenge.”

As well as supporting businesses and giving them the confidence to invest and grow, the Employer Ownership Pilot will create life changing opportunities for thousands of young people. The first round of co-investment is expected to generate 11,000 apprenticeships, including 4400 for 16-18 year olds and 27,000 full time equivalent non-apprenticeship vocational training opportunities.

There will also be 49,000 of other learning or training opportunities, including work experience and work placements.

The Employer Ownership Pilot will give businesses access to up to a total of £250 million over two years, with more successful bidders being announced in October, and a further bidding round to be launched in the autumn

Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine