SkillsActive welcomes move to prioritise vocational training
The move by Labour leader Ed Miliband to prioritise vocation-based training has been welcomed by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for learning.
Speaking at the Labour party conference in Manchester last week, Miliband promised to transform the lives of those who didn't go to university, with a focus on training and apprenticeships.
Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive, believes that vocational training is a powerful tool to develop potential and enhance the skills of young people.
He said: "We welcome Ed Miliband's and the current government's move to prioritise and promote the value of vocation-based training and apprenticeships. One of the biggest challenges facing employers today is finding recruits who are ready for work. Vocationally-based training is the most powerful tool to develop potential, enhance skills, and magnify young people's chances of getting work.
"At a time of high youth unemployment, we really need to draw on the wonderfully inspiring legacy of the recent Olympics and Paralympics, when thousands of staff and volunteers worked together with outstanding athletes to make the games such a splendid success. We need to make employers aware of the great contribution young people can make to their workplaces."
Taylor championed the benefits of work placements, and said the experience young people gain from them can be invaluable in helping secure full-time jobs.
"It is a difficult landscape for young people today, yet many employers cannot find work-ready staff," he added.
"Young people going to university face high university fees, yet academic education fails to equip many of them with the right sets of skills and attitudes for the work place. This is why we need a much clearer focus on vocational education, alongside quality academic education.
"Business-led work placements, well-designed apprenticeship programmes and other relevant vocational initiatives deliver more focussed sets of skills increasing the chances of young people getting jobs."