Don't neglect employee training, warns Chris Jones on back of Budget

Chancellor George Osborne's Budget was filled with numerous policies, many of which affect businesses.

In response, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, warned:

‘George Osborne has a clear focus on boosting productivity in today’s Budget. But right now, businesses have so many policies hitting them at once, from pension auto-enrolment to the upcoming apprenticeship levy, changes to tax exemptions and new living wage. Despite Osborne’s claim that this is a Budget for long-term stability, it may not feel like it to businesses.

‘Combined, the policies will create challenges for UK plc, leading to instability and additional costs. It will also mean that employers have to make tough decisions about how they spend their already limited training budgets. The problem is, if employees can’t receive the training they need to perform their jobs well, it will negatively impact the country’s productivity, now and in the future.

'In today’s fast-moving world, making sure the UK’s workforce has the right skills to respond has never been so important. The businesses who will do best at navigating the changes are those that think about workforce development in a long-term, holistic way.’

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As CEO, and as head of the Management Board, Chris' role is to set the strategic direction of the Group. He plays a prominent role in driving the national and international skills agenda – something he has personal experience in, as he followed the vocational education path himself. Since joining in 2008, he has led the City & Guilds Group through a period of significant growth, which has enabled further investment in the organisation.