Education and skills is consistently at the top of the priorities list of the 190,000 business the CBI represents. The reason for this is clear – education is the number one driver of productivity, business, and economic prosperity. But more than this, a world-class education system is essential for social justice and a fairer society. A society in which prosperity is shared by all.
This year, the CBI’s annual education and skills survey represents over 28,000 business of all sizes, regions, and sectors, providing a unique insight into employer’s perception of our education system. The results this year provide reason for optimism, but also highlights some significant challenges:
- Employers expect to recruit more people over the coming years but worry there aren’t enough skilled people to fill the vacancies.
- Four in five businesses plan to maintain or increase their spending on training, but there has been a sharp drop in apprenticeship programmes because of the Apprenticeship Levy.
- Worryingly, the number of businesses engaged with schools or colleges is down by almost 10% - something we must reverse if the education system is to prepare young people for the modern world and work.
How we react to these finding is important. Politicians, policy makers, the education sector, and business all have their role to play.