20 February 2019


View from the House

Iain Duncan Smith writes for the local press: Investment needed in skills training.

However employers’ investment in skills training has dropped by 25per cent in the past decade with fewer employees undertaking vocational training. So I am calling on the government to spend more on further education colleges.

Many of my constituents have told me they feel they are falling behind in the workplace and recent discussions with Waltham Forest College about further education funding has highlighted a funding gap.

With low levels of investment in training and fewer than one in six people ever permanently escaping low paid entry level work, we need to radically rethink how we support the most vulnerable in society.

Further education colleges are essential to ensuring the poorest and most vulnerable in our society are not neglected. The spending review would be a perfect opportunity to rebalance the support available for colleges and students. Last October the government announced a £100million National Retraining Scheme to boost skills, growth and prosperity in the new economy by increasing the apprenticeship levy, creating a business mentoring scheme for small firms as well as further investment in helping workers to “upskill”.

If half the UK workforce, increased their educational attainment by one level, the economy could grow by as much as £125.8bn.

Helping people to find meaningful work and improving their skills for life means fewer welfare dependants, less strain on the taxpayer, stronger families and more trust between workers and employers.