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New CBI report assesses the UK’s reskilling challenge between now and 2030 as we look to build back better from COVID-19.
Principal Policy Adviser, Education and Skills
Jonathan Brenton, the CBI's Head of Trade Policy (Non-EU), shares his reflections on what delegates took away from the CBI’s International Trade conference.
Head of Trade Policy (Non-EU)
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said welcomed confirmation of the rules underpinning the UK’s new points-based immigration system.
“Government must use the remaining months of 2020 to help businesses to understand how they will need to engage with the new system, particularly those that have no experience of the current visa system.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said missing middle of pubs, cafes and theatres in tier 2 along with other businesses across the UK who are seeing demand fall away, will be relieved to be supported.
"This is a big step towards a more standardised approach of support for areas going into tiers 2 and 3 and those businesses that face tough times who operate within them. It will be critical to get the buy-in of all regions in England, rather than negotiation on a case-by-case basis."
Damian Waters, CBI North West Director, said clear communication and transparent evidence for new restrictions is essential.
"Firms in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism – and their supply chains – have seen only a limited recovery from the earlier lockdown, and fresh obstacles could prove fatal for some. Additional financial support must therefore be made available as a matter of urgency to protect people’s livelihoods."
Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said transparency and clarity of messaging are key and businesses remain keen to better understand the strategy for living with COVID-19 through the autumn and winter, noting:
“While the Welsh Government should rightly be commended for consulting widely before announcing these new measures, the temporary lockdown remains a severe setback to businesses across Wales – particularly in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors which have suffered so significantly throughout the pandemic."
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said ensuring people can adapt to the changing world of work would be one of the most important missions embarked on by the UK in the next decade.
“The right skills strategy can help every worker to progress their careers, drive up living standards and level-up the country. But a failure to act will leave businesses facing skills shortages and workers facing long-term unemployment. We are at a fork in the road that requires urgent and decisive action."