28 July 2016

  |  CBI Press Team

News

The Right Combination on skills

As the UK carves out a new economic future following the vote to leave the EU, ensuring we have the skills to compete is more important than ever.

The Right Combination on skills

Skills continue to be a priority for business, with acute skills shortages holding back businesses across all regions and many sectors.

The CBI/Pearson education and skills survey of nearly 500 companies, employing over three million people was completed before the EU referendum, and shows firms anticipating a growing skills gap. Leaving the European Union reiterates the urgent need for progress, including making the apprenticeship levy fit-for-purpose.

Read The Right Combination

The report demonstrates that there is a growing demand amongst businesses for people with higher-level skills alongside widespread concern about being able to recruit the people and skills needed – something which is felt across the whole UK.  Business is playing its part with investment in developing talent in-house and a growing level of business-school engagement to help inspire the next generation.

A key challenge in ensuring the right skills mix is getting the apprenticeship system right. With major changes underway in the skills system our survey demonstrated the top priority for business is getting the apprenticeship levy fit-for-purpose.  

Read our latest CBI/Pearson skills survey

Encouragingly business engagement with apprenticeships has increased, however by not recognising the breadth of great training already being delivered, the current levy design runs the risk of unintended consequences. The survey results demonstrate the risk of businesses having fewer apprenticeship opportunities, being forced to put downward pressure on wages, or having to make cut-backs on non-apprenticeship training.

The CBI has consistently called for a radical rethink on the levy to make this system work for business, apprentices and the economy. With the schedule for April 2017 increasingly tight, time is running out and April 2018 is probably the right goal.

For more information please contact katy.pell@cbi.org.uk