Queen’s Speech underlines need for skills-led economic recovery

4 June 2014

NIACE has responded to today’s Queen’s Speech, which lacked enough new proposals for investment in skills training.

Tom Stannard, NIACE Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“It is good to see further investment in Apprenticeships, aspirations for delivering the best skills for young people and proposals to better prepare them for the workplace. But the strength of the economic recovery is going to rely on more than young people. There is a major labour-market imbalance ahead of us over the next ten years. It’s anticipated that there will be almost twice as many vacancies as there will be new labour force entrants to fill them. People will not only have to work for longer, but will also need opportunities to improve their skills throughout their working lives, especially as we move to a higher-skilled economy and developments in technology continue.

“We were also pleased to see the announcements on tax relief for childcare as this will help more parents and carers to return to work. However, we would urge the Government to consider tax relief for skills training – as this will help more people get into and progress in their careers. We will be publishing a manifesto next week – ahead of Adult Learners’ Week – detailing six priority actions that we believe the next Government must take. These actions are essential if we are going to achieve a sustainable recovery which will bring prosperity for all. The Government must take action to implement a new skills system that meets the needs of all people of all ages.”