Businesses spend £49bn per year on training

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Private sector businesses are investing significantly more money on skills training than the government, it has been claimed.

John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, claimed that UK companies spend a combined £49 billion a year on training.

This is helping to equip employees with the skills they need to be valuable members of the workforce, he suggested.

"But it’s essential that when young people leave the education system they have at least the basic skills that business needs," Mr Longworth claimed.

Employees need to arrive with adequate numeracy, literacy, professionalism, punctuality and concentration skills, he added.

And crucially, they also need to have the ability to take instruction.

"All of this is so important if business is to flourish and we are going to have the confidence to invest and grow," Mr Longworth added.

"It's crucial that we support the deficit reduction plan. But it’s equally important that we stimulate growth. If the government fails on either, the future for the UK will be very difficult."

Last month, Dr David Guralnick, president of the International E-Learning Association, claimed that technological innovation is creating a wealth of new training opportunities for UK workers.

He forecast that new solutions such as artificially-intelligent teaching may help improve the skills base over the coming years.

Posted by Dan Smith