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Skills are integral to the growth of our economy, so this new pilot should offer the Government a strong return on investment

Steve Bratt, CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), welcomes today’s announcement from the Prime Minister that a £250 million fund will be made available to employers over the next two years. The fund will enable employers to design, develop and purchase vocational training programmes which they actually need.

Bratt says: “Skills are integral to the growth of our economy, so this new pilot should offer the Government a strong return on investment. By making training options employer-led, firms can ensure that their workers have the skills required. Currently, businesses are shouldering the cost of training but this is a huge strain, especially for SMEs, given the current economic climate and particularly in sectors such as electrical, where an apprenticeship takes three years to complete.

“However, the Government must ensure that approved applications represent a real benefit to businesses by providing meaningful, hands-on work experience, and industry-recognised qualifications.”

Bratt adds: “The ECA recently launched a campaign called ‘Wired for Success’ which aims to make the electrical industry more accessible to women – who currently constitute less than one per cent of our industry. Traditional training routes can act as a barrier to entry, but Wired for Success has created a flexible training model. We believe this programme is a blueprint for success which can be applied across other sectors and hope that money can be drawn down to fund innovative initiatives such as this.”

For more information on Wired For Success, please visit the website: www.eca.co.uk/wired, follow the campaign on Twitter: @wiredforsuccess, or watch the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJm8l1M4QlY

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:
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About The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA)
The ECA represents the interests of 3,000 member companies involved in electrical installation work. Collectively, the member companies have an annual turnover of more than £5 billion, employ over 30,000 operatives and support 8,000 apprentices in craft training. The role of the ECA is to provide a focus for the electrical industry in terms of safety, training, qualification, technological development and industry performance www.eca.co.uk.

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