Good news recently in the field of vocational training programmes with a major government announcement that a £250 million fund will be made available in the coming year to enhance workforce skills. The funds will be available to all businesses regardless of size and throughout all sectors of the economy. It is hoped the money will encourage the hiring of more apprentices and younger workers in general, with the current number of unemployed youth at over one million.
Distribution of the money will be spread over a two year period, and is intended to address a common criticism of government training programmes - that they are too much geared toward the government's views of what skills workers need and not aligned with the real needs of businesses. Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills said: "Too often the skills system appears to businesses as a government-led enterprise rather than one led by employers." Through this program businesses will be able to determine for themselves what training is proper for the positions the apprentices are working in.
Prime Minister David Cameron stressed that an investment such as this into the nation's workforce will pay dividends in enhanced productivity for decades to come.