Commenting on the publication of the Skills for Jobs White Paper Mark Corbett, education and skills policy manager, the FDF, said: “We welcome the publication of the Skills for Jobs White Paper today, and the focus on employers taking a leading role in shaping skills provision. The development of local skills plans will seek to address the gaps in provision that are a real problem for our industry.
“It is encouraging that the government has acknowledged the need to address the fall in apprenticeships. The additional support for SMEs, and a matching service, will help with the take-up of the levy transfer, but it doesn’t address the root cause of businesses not being able to use their levy due to inflexibilities in the system.
“While we support the announcement that from April 2021 eligible adults can access a (level 3) qualification for free, it is disappointing that there are currently no options in food and drink manufacturing. Food and drink businesses have been recruiting throughout the pandemic and continue to offer excellent career opportunities to people who want to retrain.
“We seek urgent clarity on how the government will ensure that this offer adapts to our sector’s current and future priorities.”