Training boss welcomes Budget but Kickstart Scheme still needs fixing

03rd Mar

The boss of one of the Midlands’ largest training companies has welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget boost for skills and employment.

Chris Luty, managing director of BCTG, said: “We welcome the extension of the Furlough Scheme as this will help avoid the predicted unemployment cliff edge.

“The increase in the Incentives available for employers to recruit new Apprentices to £3000 is very welcome, particularly the increase (from £1500 to £3000) for those aged 25 plus.

“We recognise that much has been put in place for the under 25s, but Apprenticeships are just as relevant for adults to reskill – as over 60% currently are aged 25+.

He pointed out that the announced tripling of number of Traineeships is already happening.

“BCTG Group has secured contracts to support over 500 learners by 31 July, and employers will continue to receive £1,000 for providing for providing work experience by 31July, he said.

He added that the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, originally announced by the Prime Minister in September 2020, will provide a valuable opportunity for adults to achieve their first Level 3.

“When fully rolled out, this will allow BCTG support over 1200 adults each year.”

He said that the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast is encouraging but expressed concern it could be uneven, potentially missing those who live in disadvantaged areas of the Midlands, some of the areas already hit hardest by Covid-19.

And finally, he noted that Rishi Sunak had still not addressed one particular major training issue.

“The Chancellor still hasn’t fixed the main problem with Kickstart. There is no requirement to provide proper accredited training, so at end of scheme they have no formal qualifications to show for it.

“We would like to see this addressed as soon as possible in order to provide increased support for 16-24-year-olds.”

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