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CompTIA has reacted with dismay to government moves to reduce funding for apprenticeship training schemes raising concerns it will exacerbate the skills problem.
The IT industry trade body has shared its views about the prospects for apprentices after the Education and Skills Funding Agency looking to reduce support for non-levy apprenticeships from May to December this year by as much as 89%.
That will mean that those SMEs that are hoping that training providers will step in to help deliver skilled staff could end up being disappointed.
Adding to that is research from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers reported that many employers planned to reduce the number of people that they were going to train.
Half of the employers, who pay the levy for training future generations, that were quizzed in the survey revealed plans to reduce the number of apprentices, with just a quarter looking to increase numbers. With economic uncertainty one of the main factors behind those decisions.
“The Government’s decision to cut funding for apprenticeship training providers is incredibly perplexing and very disappointing," said Graham Hunter, vp EMEA at CompTIA.
“This is a time when Government needs to be developing the UK’s talent pool and supporting SMEs, which are the lifeblood of the British economy. Yet, by axing allocations to training providers, these organisations have effectively lost access to one of the best sources of talent available to them; willing workers who have chosen not to go to university and learn their craft through gaining real-life, industry experience," he added.
“At a time when we are in the midst of an IT skills crisis and we need more entry routes into the industry, cuts to funding put us at risk of a digital skills blackout across the UK. It is vital that the new Government reconsider this funding stance so that the country’s smaller businesses can develop the talent they and the economy need to thrive," he concluded.
Earlier this week recruitment specialist Robert Half highlighted the growing pressure on digital transformation skills with 81% of CFOs planning to recruit staff to help them with digital transformation projects.
“Digitalisation requires strategic-level thinking and while organisations look towards creating more expansive roles they must also address growing demands in the workplace,” explained Matt Weston, Director at Robert Half UK. “As businesses need to act quickly to respond to new opportunities, adopting a flexible recruitment strategy allows for the augmentation of existing employees with specialist interim professionals with the right skills at the right time.”
“It’s important for employees to remember that change is the only constant in the workplace of the future. As digital transformation initiatives evolve, professionals should look adopt a principle of life-long learning to ensure their skills remain current,” he added.