Plant & Works Engineering
Government urged to put funds where they can make a difference
Published:  08 July, 2011

Proskills has welcomed the continuing focus on improving the skills of the workforce as the Government reveals the plans for its latest funding pot. However, process and manufacturing leaders are urging the Government to put funds where they will make the most difference for employers still struggling to recover from the recession. 

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched the prospectus for the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) on Monday 7th March, which describes how up to £50m per year will be invested in partnership with businesses to tackle skills-related issues over the next two years.

The prospectus outlines three types of project where GIF funding and employer investment can be brought together:


  • ‘Best Market Solutions’: which will invest in the best innovative ideas to drive enterprise and remove skills barriers to growth.
  • National Skills Academies: expanding the successful network of National Skills Academies, which already exist in 16 sectors.
  • Joint Investment Programme: bringing together employer and public investment in specific training projects, which improve business productivity and growth.


Minister for Skills, John Hayes said: “Government investment in skills works best for individuals and communities when it responds directly to employers’ needs. By giving business the power to shape the training support we offer, we will ensure that public money directly supports jobs and growth.”

Terry Watts, CEO of Proskills commented: “We welcome much of what has been included in the GIF prospectus. It seems that the government does realise the impact that skills development can have on pushing the economy forward and driving sustainable growth in the future.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to put more power into the hands of employer-led organisations, as we firmly believe that a sector led approach to skills investment is by far the most effective way of getting the most out of the funding that has been made available.”

Through the GIF investment, the Government has made funding available to encourage innovation that they hope will spark a new wave of innovation in skills development.

Secretary of State, Vince Cable said: “To rebalance and grow our economy, we need to tackle the skills shortages that hold companies back. By putting the employer voice at the heart of the process, we will reward inventive approaches to training that deliver real help to get business moving.” 

Terry Watts continued: “The GIF is a good step in the right direction, and it is essential that the government takes this opportunity to address skills issues which are hindering this country from competing in the global market by targeting the initiative at large parts of the Process and Manufacturing sector that has been neglected in the past. Proskills and its employers have already demonstrated that a little can have a big impact and a little more could transform the prospects for the sector.”


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