NIACE Summer Budget response
NIACE Summer Budget response
Responding to today’s Summer Budget, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:


“The Chancellor made a great start to his speech today when he admitted that as a country, ‘we do not train enough’. However, despite all the emphasis and rhetoric on a low tax, higher wage and low welfare economy, he is clearly leaving the detail on skills and learning until the publication of his Productivity Plan on Friday. This will, we hope, recognise the invaluable contribution the FE sector must play in transforming our economy.


“Securing investment from employers through the Apprenticeship Levy is a great move if it leads to increased employer investment in skills and more employers taking on apprentices but quality of, and access to, Apprenticeships have to improve at the same time.


“Apprenticeships are not enough though to fill skills gaps and drive productivity. People already at work need training and for those in low pay many need basic and digital skills. We need to address low-level productivity in retail and care as much as we do in engineering and manufacturing. For the 5 million people in low pay the Productivity Plan will need to a new offer of training and support because an apprenticeship will not be available to them.


“The plans for further devolution to Greater Manchester and the ambition towards devolution deals to further areas across the North are vital if we are to achieve the truly joined up local commissioning that’s needed on employment support and employer engagement in skills.


“Funding maintenance support for full-time higher education students through loans underlines the need to safeguard the student opportunities fund to ensure that rising student debt doesn’t start to impact on opportunities for disadvantaged students. We strongly urge the Chancellor to use this opportunity to extend maintenance support to part-time students and for those in FE, arresting the dramatic decline in part time learning over recent years. 


“Despite some eye-catching (new national living wage for over 25s, for instance) and detailed (cuts to tax credits for instance) announcements, we will have to wait until Friday to find out what he plans to do about the ‘failing skills system’. We will soon learn how the in-year cuts of £900m to DfE and BIS will be achieved – 16-19, 19+ further education and higher education are all in line for more tough news.”

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About Paul Champion

Some have called me a leader, and a entrepreneur, they say I have integrity, presence and skills to ensure continuous improvement and success in whatever challenges I face. They also tell me that I am positive, resilient and motivating. I say, I'm just a normaI guy from Gateshead in the North of England, who started as an apprentice engineer. I have been in the right place at the right time and in the wrong place at the wrong time! I have successfully initiated and led complex organizations and situations to completion and success, and I have been in some jobs where success seemed untouchable. Mainly though, I have tried to learn everyday, help people to progress and learn the skills they need to be successful. I have had the privilege of working with some great people locally across the UK and more recently internationally in Asia, Europe and now USA, where I am lucky enough to work for where I am head of 3aaa USA. This website is just me having an outlet to talk about all those thoughts, ideas and things I learn that pass through my head every day when I face the challenge of doing business. I will also rant on about how great apprenticeships are, and how you can help change peoples lives through them. After all thats how I got to do the great things that I have done, and also I am still an apprentice everyday! All I ask is that if you find it interesting then leave a comment and share what you read. THANK YOU.

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