The CBI this week refused to rule out the possibility of backing a compulsory training levy on employers after hearing a passionate plea from trade unionist Bill Jordan at its annual conference in Birmingham. The employers' organisation announced that it will be conducting a two-month review of employers' opinions on what Dominic Cadbury, chairman of the CBI education and training committee, called "a highly controversial subject".
Mr Cadbury said the issue of a compulsory training levy was now back on the agenda. He said that the CBI would be "consulting all members to seek endorsement of the policy position that we develop". The CBI would "apply the practicality test and judge the training levy against what are likely to be the results and consequences in the real world". A number of delegates spoke against the idea.
Bill Jordan, president of the Amalgamated Electrical and Engineering Union, told employers: "We should not be debating the need for a training levy, but tailoring one that meets the needs of industry." He suggested "a slimline system, short on bureaucracy and with a built-in exemption for companies with Investor in People status".