The Government yesterday unveiled a multi- million pound plan to get rid of "dead-end jobs" through a new drive to tackle the chronic lack of basic skills among millions of adults.
Skills Academies will be set up to help raise the status of vocational training and workers will be offered free tuition to improve their literacy, numeracy and language abilities.
Education and Skills Secretary Ruth Kelly said the Government would provide an extra £40 million over the next two years to support new training schemes, with the funding being matched by employers.
She said: "We have made good progress on tackling skills shortages and educating adults but our ambition is nothing less than an end to 'dead-end jobs'.
"Too many adults in Britain still lack basic skills in literacy and numeracy and employers are concerned that they cannot recruit workers with the skills they need to be competitive."
A White Paper was published, aimed at helping the 15 million adults who lack basic skills in numeracy and five million in literacy.
Adults will be offered free tuition to gain basic skills in literacy, language and numeracy and to help them reach NVQ Level 2.
CBI director-general Sir Digby Jones said: "The time is right to kick-start a UK skills revolution and this is an opportunity that the country cannot afford to miss. Better skills go hand in hand with better business performance.
"If everyone in the UK improved their skill base by one level, the poorest person in the country would get richer."