As the number of high-skilled roles increase, ‘Employers and Lifelong learning’ reveals the variability of adult training available across England and makes the case for adult education to rise to the top of the political agenda. The report also finds that employees are accessing a range of informal, employer-led training which is relevant but often not widely recognised.
To address this, closer collaboration between business and Government will be critical - helping adults to develop their skills throughout their careers and engage in workplace training. Alongside this, the National Retraining Scheme must support a culture of lifelong learning across the country.
Report recommendations include:
- Improving transparency around how Apprenticeship Levy money and using apprenticeships to upskill and retrain
- The National Retraining Partnership must expand to include all Government departments with a stake in the labour market, including the Departments for Business (BEIS), Local Government (MHCLG) and the Digital Economy (DCMS)
- The Government’s National Retraining Scheme should consider ways to improve ‘passporting’ of informal, quality training and skills so they can be recognised by future employers
- All employers should offer careers advice to employees throughout their working lives and access to in-work development.
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:
“Adult learning is heading in the wrong direction at precisely the wrong time for our economy and our society. Technology is rapidly changing the world of work and with it driving up demand for new and higher skills. Good employers recognise the importance of investing in its people throughout their career, which includes making use of their Apprenticeship Levy money for high quality ‘re-traineeships’. We need the partnership of the century between individuals, business and government to get this up-skilling and re-training agenda right.
“Employers have a unique relationship with their employees, making them able to provide support and pay for learning opportunities. The Government can help plug important gaps through an expanded National Retraining Partnership.”
*References to the lowest levels of participation in adult learning for twenty years can be found in “The Adult Participation in Learning Survey 2017, The Learning & Work Institute for the Department for Education, 2018” (page 19).