The fund, announced by skills Minister Matthew Hancock, is the second round of the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) which is already giving nearly £70 million to companies including Nissan, Whitbread and GE Aviation, with projects ranging from extending skills training to local suppliers, to doubling the number of female apprentices.
Government investment in EOP for rounds one and two now totals £250 million.
Hancock says, ‘For Britain to compete we need as a nation to deliver the skills employers need. This is a unique opportunity for companies across all industries to secure their futures by addressing their skills needs now.
‘I would encourage businesses – large and small – to be ambitious and innovative in their vision for how the fund can help them grow, from creating new apprenticeship programmes to setting up specialist training academies.’
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which championed the vision for employer ownership adds, ‘Business leaders must think strategically about their personnel – equipping workforces with the skills they know are missing, or developing those areas which have the potential to support organisational growth.
‘If UK industries are to thrive it is essential that a labour market exists which is fit for purpose now and in the future, with talented staff amongst the best in the world.’
He adds, ‘We know that there aren’t any quick solutions to creating a highly skilled workforce, but projects such as the Employer Ownership pilot offer a unique opportunity for businesses to collaborate and create ambitious bids which can begin to address skills issues at a sector or geographic level.
‘I would urge every business to consider how their involvement in the pilot might support them to improve the skills of our people to benefit our businesses, our economy and our society.’
For more information on the Employee Ownership Pilot click here.