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Government to publish guidance on employees' right to request training

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The Government has published guidance to inform employers about the new right for employees to request time for training.

The guidance for employers is being made available through Business Link and is to be published 12 weeks before the right comes in on 6 April 2010.

Guidance is also available today on the DirectGov website to inform employees about how they make a request under this new right.

Skills minister Kevin Brennan (pictured), said: "Now, more than ever, we need learning and training opportunities in place that empower people to gain the skills and training they need to get on.

"Many businesses and organisations are really good at training their staff and already recognise the benefits of having a highly skilled and motivated workforce. While two-thirds of businesses do train their staff, we need to encourage employers and employees who do not to speak about training opportunities."

The right to request time to train was included in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act, which received Royal Assent in November 2009.

The introduction of the right will be phased and will be made available to employees in organisations with 250 or more employees from April 2010 before being extended to all employees from April 2011. This will give smaller organisations and businesses more time to prepare for its introduction..

Commenting on the release of the guidance, John Castledine, director of learning solutions at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), said:  "We welcome this guidance, published today, and hope this new right will open up many more opportunities for employees to access vital leadership and management training and, as a result, improve business efficiency across the UK.

"It is crucial that employers are encouraged to offer suitable training and development for all staff members. We now want to see a campaign in place that not only compels employers to ensure that training and development provision is fit-for-purpose, but also raises awareness among employees of their legal right to training and the many benefits of undertaking workplace development.

"Organisations that promote and provide these development opportunities to their staff stand to gain a more loyal, engaged and productive workforce."