Government urged to marry skills and employment strategies

The UK needs stronger links between its policies on employment and training, it has been claimed.

At the national conference of the Association of Learning providers (ALP), the Government was urged to make better connections between its plans for skills provision and its employment objectives.

ALP chairman, Martin Dunford argued that training providers were already taking a joint approach to employment, employability and skills but were doing so "in spite of and not because of the existing system."

While praising the recently-launched Work Programme for its efforts in getting people back into work, Mr Dunford added that the programme's chances of success "would be improved" if the government merged its polices on welfare to work and apprenticeship skills into one single system of provision.

He said: "In spite of the increasingly welcome, and sincerely meant rhetoric from ministers, I do not believe that many of the key officials in their respective departments fully understand that job sustainability will only be achieved if the separate welfare to work agenda and the apprentice centred skills agenda overlap much more.

"A single approach will allow providers to truly bring together the employment, employability and skills agendas that will ultimately determine whether the Work Programme is successful or not."