Whilst the roadmap remains on track and momentum builds behind the economy, education providers face real challenges. The decision last month to push universities into the third stage of reopening is disappointing. Universities have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect students and make campuses and buildings COVID-secure. The CBI has been vocal on this with our President Lord Bilimoria speaking strongly on the issue in the House of Lords. We’ve urged government to engage constructively with the sector and allow students to return to campuses as soon as is possible.
Meanwhile, education recovery funding has so far not been extended to support learners on vocational courses. This further risks affecting people’s ability to acquire skills needed to support recovery. The joint effort of business, education and government is required to ensure those leaving education this year have the confidence, support and skills to succeed.
CBI publishes paper on skills and training for the green economy
In the lead up to COP26, government, business, and wider stakeholders have a big focus on the UK’s progression towards net-zero. The CBI recently outlined business commitment to this process by supporting the ambitious 2035 target of meeting a 78% reduction, making the 2020s an important decade of change. A huge part of this transition will mean having the right skills and training available that supports both businesses and individuals as they navigate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Earlier this year we spoke with members and stakeholders across three key areas undergoing transition -home efficiency, automotive and electric vehicles, and clean energy - to identify the opportunities and challenges to delivering the skills and training on the path net-zero. The CBI has now published a paper on these findings and submitted it to the government’s Green Jobs Taskforce.
For more information, please contact Nic Trower.
Make your opinion heard on government consultation to create new flexible apprenticeships
At the March 2021 Budget, the government announced its intention to create new ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeships. The new 'flexi-job' apprenticeships proposal will allow employers to join forces and access funding to create new apprenticeships in sectors with non-traditional employment patterns, such as creatives and construction. The government has launched a consultation and is seeking views on this proposal and the sectors which may interested in this model of apprenticeship delivery. The CBI is seeking members’ views, including on how the flexi-job proposal can help increase apprenticeship take-up.
If you are interested in this opportunity or would like more information, please contact Ed Richardson.
Government pilot white paper proposals to enhance local skills strategies
Building on the Skills for Jobs White Paper, the government has launched the Skills Accelerator programme, including Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) trailblazers and Strategic Development Fund (SDF) pilots. DfE hosted a webinar to accompany the launch. The CBI welcomes the focus on local partnership between education and business to ensure skills provision can be strategically delivered to support opportunities for employment.
It is important that LSIPs complement ongoing work by LEPs and Combined Authorities and harmonize the efforts of different regional actors to deliver on the needs of local areas. A fragmented approach across different geographies risks confusing employers and leaving gaps in coverage. Greater clarity is also required on the government’s ambitions College Business Centres which are a marginal focus for SDF pilots.
If you are planning to bid for SDF funding or get involved in the development of LSIPs, please contact Aaron Revel.
CBI raise concerns over recouping of adult education funding and the impact for lifelong learning
The CBI is in close communication with the government on the decision to recoup funding from colleges that deliver less than 90% of their national adult education budget allocation. We have raised concerns that the policy could impact the Prime Minister’s commitment to help people of all ages acquire skills our economy needs. To feedback on adult education and the impact of this decision, please contact Aaron Revel.
- CBI Director General, Tony Danker, used our Urban Revival Conference to speak on the importance of enhancing the competitive strengths of regions to support levelling up. Utilising the role of anchor institutions in attracting investment and spurring sectoral growth is at the heart of this agenda. The CBI will be launching our five-year economic vision next month.
- To coincide with the launch, the CBI will be hosting our national Vice Chancellor’s Network on the 19th This session will help position universities at the centre of the CBI’s vision for an inclusive and internationally competitive economy, so register your place now.
- The CBI hosted the second session of our Technical Education Working Group with DfE colleagues, focusing on T level industry placements and their role in firms’ ability to access and develop talent. To feedback on T levels and technical education reform, please contact Aaron Revel.
- We are seeking feedback on how ‘Bootcamps’ can deliver the faster types of training firms require and support people of all ages to acquire new skills. Please get in touch with Nic Trower.