The start of this month saw the government confirm that steps to reopen the economy remain on track, an announcement much welcomed by the CBI. Nevertheless, whilst greater clarity has been provided for sectors such as retail and outdoor hospitality, we recognise the urgent need for confirmation of when universities will be allowed to welcome more students back to campus and face to face learning, an issue the CBI is following closely. For further updates and information about reopening visit our Coronavirus Hub.
Government announce funding to support collaboration and ongoing research
The government has released an additional £250m to support pioneering research and access to Horizon Europe. Our recent budget submission had called on the government to commit adequate funding to fully associate with Horizon Europe and we have been engaged with in talks across UKRI, BEIS and HMT to see these commitments fulfilled.
We will continue to press the government to support international collaboration and assure the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower. Stable and sustainable funding can give firms, universities and research bodies the security and confidence to drive this agenda. This is particularly important in view of the recent reduction in Overseas Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI, which comes as a disappointment.
To feedback on the impact of recent funding changes and CBI research and innovation policy, please contact Vanessa O'Donnell.
CBI call for an extension to the Kickstart Scheme to boost opportunities for young people
CBI President Lord Bilimoria used his speech at the Association of School and College Leaders’ annual conference to call for a 6-month extension to the Kickstart scheme.
Despite over 150,000 placements having been approved, only around 6,000 placements had commenced by mid-March, owing to a combination of the third lockdown and delays in the processing of applications by DWP. An extension to the scheme can ensure that young people benefit from the significant demand demonstrated by firms and take a positive step in their future career. It can also provide education providers with stability in their youth employability and employer engagement work.
To feedback on the Kickstart scheme and issues related to youth employability, please contact Alex Hall-Chen.
CBI responds to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report
The CBI has stressed that there is a long way to go to tackling inequality in response to the recent report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. Employers have a vital role in supporting the career progression of ethnically diverse employees and can take steps towards transparency and greater equality by disclosing ethnicity pay gaps for all to see.
The report also set out several recommendations for the role of education providers to:
- Build social and cultural capital
- Empower pupils to make more informed choices
- Open up access to apprenticeships
The CBI recognise the transformative impact of education in combating racial and social inequality and would be eager to hear from members on how they’re prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion, be that amongst their workforces or student intake.
Share your views on the role of “bootcamps” in helping people acquire new skills
The CBI is committed to ensuring everyone can gain skills and retrain throughout their career and our recent Learning for Life report found that ninety percent of the UK’s workforce will need new skills by 2030. The government is currently piloting the “bootcamp” model with funding from the National Skills Fund, with providers offering courses aligned to skills shortages in targeted sectors such as construction, green energy, and digital.
The CBI are looking for feedback on the role of skills bootcamps in delivering faster and more flexible types of training.
To feedback, please contact Nic Trower.
Shape CBI thinking on the role of universities in driving our economic vision
The CBI will be hosting a Vice Chancellor’s Network session on 19 May, exploring the leading role for universities in the CBI’s forthcoming five-year economic vision. Building back better will mean harnessing the strengths of higher education institutions to drive social mobility, unlock business investment, and boost regional growth. The CBI are clear that universities must be a lynchpin in the UK’s efforts to level-up domestically and thrive internationally.
Whilst this event is arranged for Vice-Chancellors, registration is transferable to other colleagues.
- CBI responded to the PM’s update on the COVID-19 roadmap, recognizing the potential role for COVID-19 status certification in large scale events, and emphasizing the importance of restarting international travel for different parts of the economy. To feedback on the roadmap and implications for your organisation, please contact coronavirus support.
- CBI UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell, recently met with Gavin Williamson to discuss the Skills for Jobs White Paper and the impact of lost learning on young people’s skills, confidence and opportunities. The CBI are eager to understand the role for business in confronting the effects of lost learning on school and college leavers. To feedback on this area, please contact Alex Hall-Chen. For more details on our work around the white paper, please contact myself.
- The CBI responded to the Integrated Review of Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, stressing the importance that the UK remains dynamic and outward facing. This includes taking a “balanced approach” towards China, a key export market for UK higher education.