More cash to tackle skills shortage

12:09am Wednesday 23rd November 2011

© Press Association 2014

The second phase of a multimillion-pound fund aimed at tackling shortages of skilled workers and helping firms expand is to be announced by the Government.

The Growth and Innovation Fund has around £60 million of Government and private sector money available this year, with similar levels planned for the next two years.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The Government understands we need to tackle the skills shortages that are holding companies back. Through this fund, we will support employers that take collective action to overcome these barriers, helping to rebalance and grow our economy."

He continued: "By putting the employer's voice at the heart of the process, we will reward inventive approaches to training that deliver real help to get business moving."

Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning John Hayes added: "Government investment in skills works best for individuals and communities when it responds directly to employers' needs. Offering a more continuous process will ensure that public money will be able to fund more projects throughout the year, giving business the power to shape training and directly support jobs and growth."

Money from the fund was used to launch the Hospitality Guild, which will promote skills training, apprenticeships and innovation in hospitality firms.

Martin-Christian Kent, Hospitality Guild director, said: "Through the Hospitality Guild, the hospitality industry has a real opportunity to shout about the career opportunities it offers, to demonstrate its passion for skills and its ambition to raise its productivity and professionalism.

"With one in 14 people working in the hospitality industry, an area that has been growing despite the economic downturn, the Hospitality Guild will also have a role to play in tackling unemployment through facilitating strong 'into work' programmes, apprenticeships and work placements."

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