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More than 1.4 million workers ineligible for government scheme

More than 1.4 million workers could “fall through the cracks” in the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee (LSG) scheme, which could reportedly impact long-term job security.

According to the latest Work Foundation and Total Jobs report, 1.4 million workers in low-paid jobs are “not eligible” for support.

The new report has called on the government to “review eligibility” of the LSG scheme and create more “flexible ways” of learning, whilst offering support with indirect training costs to ensure training is accessible to workers.

Ben Harrison, director at The Work Foundation said: “It is vital that we have a clear focus on maximising participation from those in low paid roles and those looking to re-enter the labour market but who lack the skills to do so.

“That means reviewing the eligibility criteria for the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, alongside offering support to help people with the indirect costs of engaging in training such as childcare.”

He added: “ We know that millions of families are facing tough times financially due to the pandemic, and the Government must do everything it can to ensure training and skills development is a viable option for them in the months ahead.”

The research has shown that participation in training “decreases” with age and varies both by sector and by personal circumstance.

It also has identified nearly 1.9 million people with children under the age of 16 who find it “difficult to access training” as a result of caring and family responsibilities.

In addition, the analysis has also found that workers have had to prioritise “earning before learning”, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. Over 7.5 million mid-career workers have reportedly not received any training since leaving full time education.

Jon Wilson, CEO of Total Jobs said: “Changes need to be made to realise the ambition of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. By doing so, we can take the nexus of a promising scheme and turn it into a policy that truly puts skills development at the heart of the UK economy.

“Removing restrictions for individuals receiving welfare benefits and expanding the scheme’s reach by making it available to more people are some initial steps that can be taken.”

He added: “We believe that by addressing the barriers we’ve uncovered, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee can be successful in aiding business success and transforming the livelihoods of millions of people.”

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