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Queen's Speech announces lifetime skills guarantee for workers

13 May 2021

Yesterday saw the airing of the Queen's Speech from Parliament, which has received an enthusiastic reception from many for its announcement on support for skills and training.

This follows general concern over the falling numbers of apprentices, which have seen another reduction since the start of this year.

Disappointment has been expressed in various quarters over the failure to meet any of the previous targets for apprenticeship numbers set by the government.

However, the inclusion of a "lifetime skills guarantee" within yesterday's Queen's Speech has been welcomed by industry organisations, including the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA).

The association is encouraging engineering services employers to "make the most of all the recruitment options now available to them".

It is largely supportive of the Skills and Post 16 Education Bill, while also including a note of caution.

ECA director of employment and skills Andrew Eldred referred to the current conditions facing employers and said: "No amount of incentives will change employers' minds if the outlook remains volatile."

A recent survey conducted by the ECA showed that 24% fewer electrotechnical and engineering firms had employed fewer apprentices in Q2 2021, compared to Q1.

"However, the lifetime skills guarantee opens up another important option for employers looking to support skills development.

"Training routes for career changers or unqualified but experienced workers - which employers or individuals themselves have had to fund before - will now attract government support," he said.

Those wishing to access the full version of the Queen's Speech can do so here.

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