20 July 2018


Westminster update

Prior to summer recess, the CBI has strong stakeholder engagement

Westminster update

Following the appointment of the new Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU, last week CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, and the other business organisations met with Dominic Raab, ahead of the release of the Brexit White Paper. During the meeting, Carolyn highlighted business priorities for EU Negotiations and pointed out the need for Europe’s leaders to approach the UK’s proposals with an open mind and flexibility. She also emphasised the importance of putting jobs and economic growth at the heart of a future deal that delivers for both sides.

Elsewhere, Carolyn attended the third meeting of the National Retraining Partnership alongside Frances O’Grady from the TUC, Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton, and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick. Progressing from the previous meeting, the discussion moved to what kind of support could be delivered for learners. The initial model proposed an end-to-end service that combined initial advice and guidance, online learning, follow-up support, and then the potential for a job interview at the end of the process. The Department for Education is keen to start testing their modelling with employers, this is something in which the CBI has agreed to support.

Carolyn also met with the Education Secretary for the latest series of Apprenticeship Levy roundtables with the Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clarke. During the meeting, the action points on trialling Apprenticeship Levy ‘pooling’ were agreed and Department of Education expressed their interest in consulting with businesses on the idea - something the CBI will assist the Department in delivering. As part of the meeting, Carolyn reaffirmed the importance extending the ability to transfer Levy funds, which will neatly complement the ‘pooling’ concept. The issue of slow standards approval was also raised by Carolyn, citing the difficulty one retail member had been facing as an example.

Finally, the CBI’s Director for Trade, Ben Digby, attended the Business Organisations Trade Group with Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead CBE, and Director General, Exports, John Mahon. During the meeting the Chequers agreement was discussed as well as the government export strategy. Ben highlighted the CBI’s new report which outlines a strategy to grow UK exports, highlighting the invaluable contribution foreign missions play in supporting British business overseas.  It also provides practical recommendations on how to create a more consistent approach across the world.

For more information please contact Hannah.collins@cbi.org.uk