Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Labour announces landmark shift in skills to drive growth and equip our country for the future [September 2022]

The press release issued by the Labour Party on 27 September 2022.

Keir Starmer has announced that in government Labour will give businesses the flexibility they need to train their workforce and deliver growth, by turning the Tories’ failed apprenticeships levy into a ‘Growth and Skills Levy’.

As part of a wider package, Labour has also announced that it will devolve adult education skills spending to combined authorities, and establish a new expert body – Skills England – to oversee the national skills effort.

As part of a crucial step to delivering the skills needed to drive growth, transition to net zero, and capture the benefits of new technologies, these reforms will give adults across the country the skills they need to gain good jobs and boost local and regional economies.

The Tories’ failure to deliver a skills system that works has left the country ill-prepared for the challenges we face over the next decade, including the transition to net zero, and reaping the benefits of technological change.

Labour’s plan for skills would:

  • Turn the Tories’ failed Apprenticeships Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills Levy’ enabling firms to spend up to 50% of their levy contributions, including current underspend, on non-apprenticeship training – including modular courses and functional skills courses to tackle key skills gaps. By reserving 50% of the Growth and Skills Levy for apprenticeships, we will protect existing apprenticeship provision
  • Better align skills policy with regional economic policy and local labour markets by devolving combining and various adult education skills funding streams to current and future combined authorities
  • Establish a new expert body, Skills England, to oversee the national effort to meet the skills needs of the coming decade across all regions, and ensure we can deliver our Climate Investment Pledge.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Labour will give employers new flexibility to invest in the world class training they need. Businesses want high skills, workers want skills training when they need it. We will see the biggest partnership between government, business and communities this country has ever seen.”