Lib Dems pledge £10,000 'skills wallet' for every adult in England

11 November 2019, 15:57

The Lib Dems have announce their plans to reduce the skills shortage in the UK
The Lib Dems have announce their plans to reduce the skills shortage in the UK. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Every adult in England would receive £10,000 to spend on education under a Liberal Democrat government, the party has announced.

The party claims the so-called "skills wallet" scheme would see people get £4,000 at 25; £3,000 at 40 and another £3,000 at 55.

Due to devolution rules the scheme would only apply in England, but the party claims extra funding would be made available for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Liberal Democrat business spokesman Sam Gyimah said: "In an ever-changing workplace people often need to develop new skills, but the cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.

"We will create a new era of learning throughout adult life.

"By stopping Brexit and investing in our skills wallets, Liberal Democrats will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK's economic future and prosperity."

The money can only go towards education and training courses approved by experts and would be paid for by reversing cuts to corporation tax - bringing the rate back up to 20%.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said: "Corporation tax receipts are at an all-time high thanks to the Conservatives' management of the economy since Labour's great recession.

"Hiking taxes on businesses will hit economic growth meaning fewer jobs and less money to invest in public services like schools and hospitals."

The announcement comes after a report by the Open University found that 63% of UK organisations are experiencing a skills shortage.

The report highlights the manufacturing industry as the biggest spender on the skills shorting; increasing salaries, paying temporary staff and recruiters, and training those hired at a lower skill level than required.