Chancellor Gordon Brown’s Budget proposals to increase staff training, cutbusiness red tape and tackle unemployment, have been broadly welcomed byemployer bodies. Brown’s Budget outlined a raft of new training initiatives, includingextending the Emp-loyer Training Pilots, which is likely to be formalised aspart of the Government’s skills strategy White Paper due in the summer. The programme gives state aid to employers who give staff time off to train,and could eventually cost the treasury £1bn a year. John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD), said the extension of the pilot initiative would helpskills development. He said he would have liked a clearer signal from the chancellor on theissue of whether employers should be forced to give time off for training, andadded that employers need to realise up-skilling staff is in their interests. “The purpose of the exercise is skills increase. Business may beworried about taking in temps and that the training is not on target, but theyneed to upscale their staff’s abilities,” he said. Other measures in the budget include a proposal to give greater discretionto local job centre managers to be innovative, and an additional emphasis onjobless people to search for and travel to work. Philpott said: “The welfare-to-work measures contained in this year’sBudget are the most substantial since Mr Brown’s first Budget in 1997. Theyoffer the best hope of tackling the deep local pockets of joblessness thatblight every region of the UK.” The Government also plans to shift from a national setting to regional andlocal pay settings within the public sector, to reflect local differences ininflation and labour market pressures. This was backed by both the CIPD and theCBI. Importantly, Brown also announced that the UK should resist unnecessaryregulations, such as the working time directive, which have an impact on jobcreation in the UK. By Quentin Reade Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Brown’s Budget plans get thumbs up from businessOn 15 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.