Skills matter to growth and innovation, but we haven’t been getting it right.
Gather any group of businesses together, anywhere in England, and discussion is certain to cover skills challenges. Governments of all political shades over the past 30 years have recognised this – and tried to act.
With goodwill, and with vigour, a long series of top-down reforms have been tried. And some local innovation has been developed. In patches, real progress has been made. But the overall picture has remained challenging and – worst of all – young people and retraining adults haven’t had access to a system that would help them make the most of their talents, and so increase their own and our national prosperity.
Over the past few months, the CBI has been talking to providers, local and national government, and businesses of all sizes on what can be done. This report is the outcome of that, and builds on the recent work of the CBI on the drivers of regional growth.