§ 45. Mr. Ian Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the problems of skills shortages among firms in the south-east.
§ Mr. Nicholls
It is for firms in the south-east, as elsewhere, to anticipate their future needs for skills and to deal with any existing shortfalls. In this they will wish to take full account of the challenges set by demographic trends, new technologies and international competition; and draw on the underused talents of unemployed people, women, ethnic minorities, older workers and people with disabilities.
The Government for their part have introduced a number of measures to help employers including the establishment of training and enterprise councils and launch of business growth training. We are also assisting young people and the unemployed to gain new skills through youth training (YT) and employment training (ET).