News: £250m to boost business investment in skills

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A multi-million pound pilot scheme to get more employers investing in workplace training has been launched.
Under the scheme, businesses in England will be given direct access to up to £250m of public investment to boost Apprenticeships and other vocational training.
The programme has been championed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and aims to put businesses in the driving seat by giving them real purchasing power in the skills market to secure the support they, and their workforce, need to prosper.
Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills said:
“I believe that to improve both the quality and sustainability of vocational skills, we need a shift in the balance of power away from government and towards employers. They are the people who really know what their business needs to grow and thrive.
“Last December, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills launched its vision for greater employer ownership of skills - where employers have the space to step up and demand, develop and commission exactly the skills they need.
“As we said at the time, the most powerful way to achieve this is to change the way funding flows through the system, placing responsibility and reward for investment in training squarely with business for employer-facing programmes like Apprenticeships. Thanks to the support of the government, up to £250m over the next two years will be invested to make this happen.”
A prospectus giving details of the Employer Ownership Pilot Investment Fund is now available to download at  An application form and supporting guidance will be published on the same website in mid-February.

About Jon Kennard

Jon Kennard is a freelance writer and social media manager, and former editor of


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