It is not however just in the arena of existing employees that industry should be seeking to raise skill levels. By working closely with local providers and Colleges of Further Education in particular, a picture can rapidly be built up of the skills and expertise that regions, areas and even individual employers require from their workforce. This allows the local training infrastructure to organise itself in such a way that these skills can be increasingly met at a higher level when employees are taken on.
Employment Service programmes such as the New Deal offer learning opportunities for long-term unemployed people to acquaint themselves with the skills that employers who are actively recruiting actually need on a day-to-day basis. The involvement of employers in providing these opportunities is a major factor in its success, and many have also taken up the generous subsidies available to take on long-term unemployed people who are seeking a chance to put their new-found skills into action. A range of other new programmes developed by the Employment Service are now being implemented to bring the skills level of those currently out of work in line with employers? current needs, either through refreshing out of date experience or exposing the individual to a whole new world of vocational learning.