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Is e-skills UK safe from massive budget cuts?

Rebecca Thomson

E-skills UK says it believes it will continue to receive support from the government despite the wide ranging cuts expected and already announced.

The sector skills council for business and IT says technology skills offer "the biggest lever the country has to achieve success in a global economy".

All sector skills councils claim to have made efficiency savings within their core funding, but e-skills said it was optimistic funding would not dry up completely.

It said it supported business secretary Vince Cable's focus on economic growth, and insisted that the IT industry would play a key role in driving future growth.

The National Strategic Skills Audit, published in March, predicted the telecoms and computing sectors will become the UK's most important. They are also important catalysts for growth in other sector, it said.

E-skills UK said, "We believe that government will continue to place priority on putting employers at the heart of the skills system as the most effective way to cut waste and support economic recovery.

"The National Strategic Skills Audit identified the strategic importance of IT and telecoms and the need for particular focus in this area."

All sector skills councils were reviewed by the National Audit Office last year to determine whether they should be re-licensed. E-skills UK was rated excellent.

Chief executive Karen Price added, "E-skills UK's research shows that better exploitation of information and communications technologies could generate an additional £35bn to the UK economy.

"In addition, the IT and telecoms industry itself delivers disproportionate direct contribution, with £71bn a year gross value added to the UK economy, more than 8% of the nation's total."


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