Engineering organisations say government proposals on lifelong learning are pitched too strongly at the lower skills levels and those who do not currently participate in learning, writes Kam Patel.
Led by the Engineering Employers Federation, the bodies, which include the Engineering Council, Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union and Manufacturing, Science and Finance union, have issued a joint response to the lifelong learning proposals.
Graham Mackenzie, director-general of the EEF, said the bodies do not dispute the social arguments for the need to encourage the development of basic skills. But he added: "The government's approach should not be at the expense of those already involved in the learning process who wish to enhance their skills."
The EEF, which represents 5,600 firms with a workforce of 1 million, says the majority of the workforce in engineering need to possess a minimum skills level of NVQ Level 3. In addition, firms require a significant number of highly skilled technicians and graduate engineers qualified to NVQ Level 4 and above.