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Loans for investors in skills

A NEW SYSTEM of "transfer- able" training loans is to be piloted in an effort to encourage firms to invest in skills.

Under the proposed system, employers would take out loans to train their workers, but they would only have to repay the money for employees who stayed with them. If workers switched jobs, their new employer would pick up the tab.

Speaking at the launch of the third report of the Government's Skills Task Force, Education an Employment Secretary David Blunkett said: "Employers are reluctant to invest in training as they fear trained employees will be poached by competitors."

The Skills Task Force, whose final report is due in the spring, also suggests tax credits for small firms who invest in training, training loans for individuals, agreements between employers and unions on workforce skills development and an annual audit of workplace training needs.

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