Training at work must improve

The TUC certainly acknowledges those good employers that invest in the training of their workforce. Indeed, our 14,000 union learning representatives work with many of them ("TUC tells bosses to pay up for skills", TES, September 8).

However, Anthony Thompson from the CBI fails to grasp the depth of the skills crisis in Britain. His reiteration of the pound;33 billion that employers say they spend on training disguises a great deal. The truth is that 35 per cent of employers spend nothing on training, despite Government incentives. This explains why 8.5 million workers are missing out.

The CBI should also admit that most of the money employers spend goes on informal workplace training and to meet statutory requirements like health and safety Unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills project, would like the CBI to join with us to urge employers to increase their overall spending on training. And to use it more strategically.

Liz Smith

Director unionlearn

Trades Union Congress

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