Continuing to deliver the high-quality skills provision that our learners and employers deserve will be a huge challenge, at this time. Last week, we saw research from the Learning and Work Institute reveal that high inflation rates threatens to wipe out £850m of the government’s skills funding in the coming few years – and this certainly chimes with what our members are telling us. We are now seeing many organisations within the sector suffering due to the effects of inflation – including rising energy bills and other operating costs.
On top of this training providers face challenges recruiting and retaining the staff they need. Labour market figures currently show vacancies outnumbering those seeking work, so this is having an upwards pressure on wage claims as training providers compete for staff – contributing to problems with rising costs. Over the last few months, we have been carrying out a survey with our members on this issue, which closes at the end of June. This is already helping us to understand in greater detail the pressures our members are finding with employee recruitment and retention. We hope to release some of the preliminary findings very soon.