8 December 2017


The department for education holds its inaugural skills summit

CBI has called for renewed partnership between government and business in reforming the UK’s skills system.

The department for education holds its inaugural skills summit

On 30 November, the Department for Education held its inaugural skills summit, supported by the CBI. Speaking at the summit, CBI director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn, emphasised the urgency of the skills challenge and called for the summit to drive a new partnership between business and government to ensure that reform is effective.

Carolyn welcomed the department’s commitment to partnership with business, and said that it was vital that the agenda now moves beyond an agreement that ‘skills matter’ to delivery of real change. She also asked for the Government to end the constant cycle of reform, calling for greater openness to business input and action to address key issues in the apprenticeship levy system. In return, Carolyn urged commitment from all firms to improve the understanding of their skills needs and how best to tackle them, with investment in engaging with the skills system, collaborating with other businesses and providers to shape training.

Carolyn’s speech followed education secretary, Justine Greening’s, opening address, in which the secretary of state issued a ‘call to action’ for employers to work with government to forge a ‘skills revolution’ which delivers opportunity and meets businesses’ needs.

Read the DfE skills summit press release in full

The summit was well-received in the national media – including City AM and BBC Radio 4. In the coming months, the CBI will build on this milestone by continuing to push for adjustments to the apprenticeship system, making the new T-levels a success and identifying training solutions for a changing workplace through the National Retraining Partnership. This is to ensure young people the relevant skills, experience and guidance for them to succeed, in turn supporting business and economic growth.

For more information please contact edward.richardson@cbi.org.uk