Science and vocational training in focus to boost workforce skills

VOCATIONAL training and apprenticeships received a boost as chancellor George Osborne unlocked more funding yesterday.

Admitting that the UK has a lower-skilled workforce than the US, Germany and France, Osborne said he would spend £180m to create up to 50,000 new apprenticeship places in the next four years.

At least 24 new vocation-focused university technical colleges are to be built, double the 12 announced to date, and he announced an extra £100m to invest in four UK science campuses this year.

Experts welcomed the news though KPMG director Craig Robinson said employers may find the level of bureaucracy involved in apprenticeships offputting.