Unite the Union

Unite the Union

September 26, 2007 12:51 ET

Unite calls for training levy for employers

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 26, 2007) -

Attention: Newsdesks, Industrial and Political Editors

Unite, the UK's biggest union has called for the government to legislate to make employers provide statutory sector skills training levies to force employers to train workers.

In a speech to the Labour Party Conference today Unite Deputy General Secretary, Graham Goddard, criticised the voluntary approach to workplace skills training and called for compulsory training levies to be imposed to ensure that UK workers have the skills that business needs to compete in the global economy.

Graham Goddard, Unite Deputy General Secretary and Director of Finance, said:

"We welcome government commitments to workplace skills training but the advances made are in danger of being lost as the direction of the government's policy moves towards an even greater emphasis on the needs of employers, and leaving employers to decide whether they wish to train the workforce or not.

"We know from our experiences that you cannot run a successful economy based on high skills on the goodwill of employers alone and all the evidence shows that an underdeveloped workforce produces less, works harder and longer for the same pay and attracts less investment."

Unite has also called for the introduction of a legal entitlement to training which it says was promised by the government in the Warwick Agreement.

Only 15% of firms provide training for the entire workforce but by the government's own estimates, five million more skilled jobs will be needed in the economy.

Unite welcomed the additional money made available by government to get employers to sign up for the "skills pledge" by said that the response across the private sector had been poor.

Contact Information

  • Unite press office
    Catherine Bithell
    07958 473 224