Budget 2011: Skills gap seen as threat to future growth

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Budget 2011: Skills gap seen as threat to future growth

Simon Quicke

The potential for a lack of skills in the British workforce has been highlighted as a real danger to future prosperity by the Chancellor George Osborne.

In the Budget he said that the UK was lagging behind other developed countries in terms of having a skilled and flexible workforce and that situation would potentially undermine future economic growth.

As a result the government is stumping up funding for a further 40,000 apprenticeships for young people as well as putting the cash up to open more technical colleges.

The existing apprenticeship scheme has been embraced by some of the largest IT companies, including Microsoft which set out its ambition to create 4,000 new jobs back in January, and the latest positions will add to the 100,000 the government has already announced it plans to have by 2014.

The decision to open more technical colleges also got immediate backing from Bindi Bhullar, director of HCL Technologies.

"The UK has long been known as a financial services hot spot, but it is great to see that this budget has not overlooked the wealth of technology talent available to investors and the efficiencies it can bring to businesses, particularly during a challenging economic climate," he said.

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