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Darling promises 60 million skills boost in Budget

13 Mar 2008

The Government announced a 60 million boost to skills in the Budget yesterday.

In his first budget, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, said the money would go towards progressing the Leitch review, by funding adult skills. He said individuals will be offered a second chance to retrain, and hoped employers would be more encouraged to offer apprenticeships.

The expansion of Train to Gain and the introduction of skills accounts should ensure public funding follows the needs of employers and employees more closely, said Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI. The announcement of additional funding for intermediate skills and adult apprenticeships is welcome, as employers' skills needs are often at these higher levels."

A capital fund of 12.5 million will also be established to encourage female entrepreneurs.

Elsewhere, Darling announced a reform of car vehicle excise duty rates and bandings, which will come into force in 2009. Drivers of environmentally-friendly cars will benefit through tax breaks.

It wasnt a particularly exciting budget but it has provided certainty for employers with company cars, said Matthew Hunnybun, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. This is good news for employers who had been holding off reviewing their fleets.

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