CBI Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell, gave evidence to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, alongside the TUC. This followed the consultation submission the CBI made in August 2018.
The inquiry is looking at how best to prepare young people to take advantage of future opportunities through the school curriculum, the role of lifelong learning and how people can realise the opportunities as technology continues to develop.
- Nearly 80% of employers expected to need more staff with high skills in the years ahead.
- The importance of equipping school leavers with the right skills – not just exam results – to succeed in the workplace. Possessing the right behaviours and aptitudes are crucial in young people’s ability to adapt to life after formal education.
- Those in work already will need more support, meaning upskilling and continued personal development will need to part of business training strategies.
- Automation and artificial intelligence can provide many opportunities, such as raising productivity and ensuring that all regions and nations within the UK maximise their potential. But they will also create disruption. Employers need to embrace a culture of lifelong learning and make it part of their training strategies.
- The government must inject some pace and direction into the National Retraining Partnership work. The scheme must be up and running as rapidly as possible to help those affected.
Business can – and should – lead the charge. An ever-changing policy landscape makes the task harder. What we need is long-term thinking, with a national framework which is stable yet flexible enough to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution.— Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director