World Skills London

When: 5–8 October, Where: ExCeL London

Cable sets out investment in skills for growth

Business Secretary Vince Cable explained to the WorldSkills Leaders' Forum how a new Government investment will increase skills and drive growth at the WorldSkills London 2011 Leaders Forum.

The Government investment, of more than £20M, will boost skills and drive growth in key industries including nuclear manufacturing, renewable energy and healthcare.

£11 million of Government matched funding, awarded following the first round of bids to the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF), will enable employers to deliver more effective skills solutions through more apprenticeships, new professional standards and closer partnerships with education and training providers.

Speaking during his keynote address at the Forum, which runs alongside the WorldSkills London 2011 Competition for highly skilled young people, Dr Cable explained that skills offer a source of pride for young people and a feeling of social inclusion and that they also provide an answer to financial insecurity.

The Renewable energy, Healthcare and creative industries were among those identified in the speech as sectors which will benefit immediately from GIF funding. Thanks to a successful first round bid, Renewable UK, the wind, wave and tidal energy trade association, is set to receive a boost of £500,000 which will enable them to establish a Renewables Training Network (RTN) to tackle the critical shortage of skilled workers in green energy industries.

People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for the Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector will also be receiving £1M to broker 500 new apprenticeship places and help 15,000 unemployed people to find work.

The Business Secretary also reassured delegates as to the safeguarding of the Adult Learning Budget, explaining that learning new skills offers “confidence, optimism and sense of purpose for young and old alike”. Work is now being undertaken on the development of future rounds of GIF, which will deliver up to £50m of Government investment per year. An announcement will be made later this year regarding investment for 2012.

Watch the speech →