Think again on new training rights, urge Directors

Dated: 23 February 2009

In advance of today’s Second Reading of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has raised serious concerns about the proposals to introduce a legal right for employees to request time away from their work to undertake training.

Whilst the IoD fully supports the emphasis the Government has placed on the need to improve the UK’s skills profile, it argues that its ‘Time to Train’ policy is the wrong way to seek to achieve world class skills.

Mike Harris, Head of Education and Skills Policy at the IoD, said:

“There are numerous objections to this policy. The case for legislative intervention on training is weak. Nor will new laws drive the ‘culture change’ the Government seeks. Above all, these proposals go beyond being merely the wrong solution; they will also inevitably inflict new administrative costs on employers. This is undesirable in any case. In the middle of a recession, it is spectacularly unhelpful.”

Mike Harris continued:

“The Government should look again at this policy and act quickly to reduce its impact – particularly on those employers who already take training very seriously. Over 90% of IoD members’ organisations currently provide training. They have well established procedures for analysing and discussing training needs – more than three quarters use regular appraisals to review and manage employees’ performance. Where discussions on training already take place, the Government simply does not need to interfere any further.”


Contact Points

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 3392
Mob: +44 (0)7814 386 243

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
  • The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with ten UK centres (three in London, one each in Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.
  • For further information, visit our website: