22 million have right to request time to train by 2010
Up to 22 million UK workers will benefit from government plans to allow employees the right to request time to train, according to John Denham, secretary of state for Innovation, universities and skills.
If the legislation passes through Parliament, employees who have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks could have the right to request by 2010.
Employers can apply for funding through the Government-run Train to Gain scheme, which will dish out upwards of £1 billion a year from 2010. Each year, companies are estimated to spend £38.6 billion of their own money on upskilling their workforces.
"We need to find new ways to bring the drive for skills to every worker which is why we are consulting on a new right for workers to request time to train," said Denham. "A third of employers still don't train their staff. In other organisations training does not involve everyone. The employers who do not train run real risks with their businesses."
The initiative was buried deep in the Prime Minister's draft legislative programme, first announced on May 14 this year.