Our response to latest labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI Director of People & Skills, said as businesses recouped months of lost trade over the summer, the labour market showed positive signs of recovery too as employment and vacancy figures rose. However, ongoing supply and labour shortages are impeding further growth.

“In the longer-term, this means increasing investment in reskilling, automation and improved pay and conditions. But these steps take time to have impact, so we need a functional Shortage Occupation List too so that firms can temporarily fill the most significant vacancies. Government needs to immediately begin a review of shortages and accept the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations from last year to add extra jobs to the list."

14 Sep 2021

Our response to new border control delays

Sean McGuire, CBI Europe Director, said that additional time could help to relieve pressure on supply chains ahead of the traditionally busy Christmas period for retailers, especially given current headwinds. But the impact will be fleeting unless that extra time delivers progress on the challenges firms are facing.

"That includes both sides giving fresh consideration to business’ suggestion for a bespoke veterinary agreement, which could avoid the majority of checks and reflect the unique nature of trade between the UK and the EU. And where supply bottlenecks are caused by labour shortages, the UK should use the immigration levers within its gift to alleviate short-term pressures.”

14 Sep 2021

CBI response to Winter Covid Plan

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said the UK’s world leading vaccine programme should underpin efforts to keep the economy open, but just as important will be maximising the role that monitoring, therapeutics and free, mass testing can play in driving confidence.

"Clear forward guidance for firms about what measures will be introduced under Plan B should infection rates rise will maximise their ability to plan with certainty. Transparency about how and when those decisions will be made is essential.”

14 Sep 2021

Higher business taxes & lower business investment are not a plan for growth - CBI Chief

On the important economic choices, we face as a country this autumn, Tony said:

“This autumn requires big choices. Choices that will define a decade. We’re at an inflexion point. Brexit, Covid, Climate Change – all demand that the UK forges a new growth story to compete in the world. And believe me this will be a competition – for new markets, new skills, and technological advantage."

13 Sep 2021

CBI responds to the UK Government's new data protection regime

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said

“Firms will support the government aim to bust barriers to allow data to move securely, but more flexibly across borders. We hope to see the UK maintain its high level of data protections and remain in line with international standards to safeguard our thriving digital economy."

10 Sep 2021

Our reaction to Government plans for social care reform and funding

Lord Bilimoria, CBI President, said that after all that business has gone through during the pandemic and the fantastic Government support that followed, now is not the time for tax increases.

“It’s time to stimulate investment and growth in the economy. National Insurance increase will directly hurt a business's ability to hire staff, at a time when businesses have faced a torrid 18 months and are now fighting crippling labour shortages."

07 Sep 2021

CBI Scotland initial reaction to programme for Government

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“Business investment is absolutely vital to Scotland’s economic recovery, and the government should do everything in its power to attract – not repel - investment and the very best talent. Ultimately, by working more closely with business to create sustainable economic growth, ministers will be able to achieve their goals of improving people's living standards and public services."

07 Sep 2021

CBI outlines labour market insights alongside urgent recommendations

Tony Danker, the CBI’s Director-General, has warned that labour supply problems could last for up to two years and will not be solved by the end of the Job Retention Scheme.

“Labour shortages are biting right across the economy. While the CBI still predicts growth returning to pre-pandemic levels later this year, furlough ending is not the panacea some people think will magically fill labour supply gaps. These shortages... will have a negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery."

06 Sep 2021

Damaging HS2 speculation must end, says CBI

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said HS2 is a project that levels up – a cornerstone of government and business ambitions. It’s too important a project to downgrade to HS1.5.

“Government should put an end to any lingering uncertainty by reaffirming its commitment to delivering HS2, on time and in full, as a foundation stone for an equitable and sustainable future UK economy.”

27 Aug 2021

CBI responds to the latest change in international travel rules

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said the Government must turn its attention to establishing a longer-term system for safe travel which is truly risk-based.

“This means focusing on individual vaccination status rather than country status, simplifying any lingering restrictions and ending PCR test requirements for double-jabbed travelers and journeys to green list countries.”

26 Aug 2021

CBI Scotland responds to agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“Any proposed agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens should recognise the immense contribution that enterprise makes to social and economic life in Scotland, not seek to shut business out of the discussion on economic recovery. Without a thriving and competitive business sector delivering investment, jobs and growth, any plans for ambitious future spending are destined to fall short.”

20 Aug 2021

CBI Scotland responds to latest GERS figures

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“If the Scottish Government plans to launch a series of ambitious spending plans, this must be backed-up by consistent revenue generation. That means supporting enterprise to deliver the jobs and growth we need by taking steps to build public and business confidence in the recovery."

18 Aug 2021

CBI responds to latest labour market statistics

Jennifer Beckwith, CBI Head of Employment, said that with staff shortage concerns a wider test and release scheme must be implemented so that self-isolation remains properly targeted at those who risk spreading the virus.

“Longer-term, business must continue to invest in the skills and automation that will underpin future growth. The government can also help by ensuring that the qualifications it funds include those in short supply and removing barriers hampering firms’ ability to recruit overseas workers.”

17 Aug 2021

CBI responds to publication of UK Government's hydrogen strategy

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said with hydrogen key to unlocking decarbonisation across carbon-intensive sectors, as well as stimulating high levels of skilled green jobs, the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy is a key milestone in the delivery of the UK’s 10 Point Plan.

“With its cross-economy applications in the transition to net-zero, firms will be looking to the Government to make ambitious commitments on hydrogen testing and demonstration projects in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review – as well as clearly identifying its role in decarbonising the UK’s heat system through the Heat and Buildings Strategy."

17 Aug 2021

CBI responds to Acas report on business support for vaccine uptake

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said:

“The vast majority of businesses are continuing their commitment to protecting staff and customers during the pandemic. This includes showing flexibility when the time comes for their staff to get the jab. We’d encourage all companies to demonstrate this same level of consideration towards their employees.”

12 Aug 2021

CBI NI responds to latest relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions

Angela McGowan, CBI NI Director, said confirmation that double-vaccinated staff will no longer have to self-isolate if they test negative will undoubtedly come as a huge relief.

“However, it’s not clear why the Executive has not agreed to end social distancing or why it continues to advise the workforce to work from home. This feels like a missed opportunity to support struggling retailers that were hopeful of getting more customers through the door and making the most of the final weeks of summer. Many firms are also already proceeding with hybrid working models, with well advanced plans to get them off the ground."

12 Aug 2021

CBI responds to Acas report on business support for vaccine uptake

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said delivering on the vaccine roll-out is crucial to boosting confidence in the reopening and helping the economy adjust to the next phase of learning to live with the virus.

“The vast majority of businesses are continuing their commitment to protecting staff and customers during the pandemic. This includes showing flexibility when the time comes for their staff to get the jab. We’d encourage all companies to demonstrate this same level of consideration towards their employees.”

12 Aug 2021

CBI responds to Q2 GDP

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, noted that growth bounced back over the second quarter as restrictions on activity were gradually lifted. He said this underscores that tackling the pandemic goes hand-in-hand with supporting economic growth and added:

“Yet challenges to the recovery are emerging. Several supply bottlenecks have likely taken the edge off growth over the summer: a shortage of raw materials and semiconductors, continuing global supply chain disruption and staffing shortages. In the near-term, every effort must be made to safeguard the UK recovery."

12 Aug 2021

CBI responds to GCSE results day

Alissa Dhaliwal, CBI Head of Skills, said ensuring young people from all backgrounds can fulfil their potential in education is crucial to securing a more inclusive economy.

“Regardless of their results, there are great options for students to pursue in education, vocational training and employment. Whatever route they choose, developing skills like communication, creativity and teamwork will help them to thrive. Employers stand ready to offer support through Kickstart placements, apprenticeships and T Levels.”

12 Aug 2021

CBI responds to Btec results day

Alissa Dhaliwal, CBI Head of Skills, said:

“As school leavers start the next chapter of their lives, firms will provide support through jobs and training. Meanwhile, universities will do whatever they can to help students progressing onto higher education by showing as much flexibility as possible on admissions decisions."

10 Aug 2021

CBI responds to A-Level results day

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

“Regardless of the outcome, young people should remember that qualifications are just one of the factors employers look at when recruiting. Businesses value the resilience students have demonstrated throughout the pandemic enormously, alongside skills like creativity and teamwork."

10 Aug 2021

CBI Wales responds to A and AS level results day

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:

“Congratulations to those receiving their exam results today, after years of hard work and determination. Students have shown incredible resilience to overcome the challenges of learning during the pandemic and that’s something that all businesses both value and admire."

10 Aug 2021

CBI Scotland responds to SQA results day

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“Regardless of today’s outcome, young people should remember that qualifications are just one of the factors employers look for when recruiting. Alongside key skills like creativity and teamwork, attitude and aptitude remain the most important strengths employers are looking when it comes to hiring school leavers.”

10 Aug 2021

CBI responds to UN climate report

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said COP26 must be the trigger for more, urgent action from countries around the world.

“Committing to and achieving net zero is paramount and the UK must look to lead by example, establishing the policy and tax frameworks to make it possible. Businesses understand the vital role they must play and many are putting net zero plans in place. We need to see more of those commitments and acting on the pledges made, as soon as possible.”

09 Aug 2021

CBI Wales responds to First Minister's latest statement on Covid restrictions

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said it’s clear that Wales is entering a new phase of the pandemic: ‘living with the virus.’ Instilling a sense of confidence in the reopening process – both for businesses and the public – is now crucial.

“Whether through the use of measures like face masks and risk assessments or the many processes businesses have implemented themselves to become more COVID-secure, ensuring staff and customers feel comfortable entering businesses premises is crucial to getting the Welsh economy firing again.”

06 Aug 2021

CBI responds to latest pingdemic figures

Lord Bilimoria, CBI President, said with immediate effect the government should bring forward a test and release scheme – for people double-jabbed and for those who have not been. He added:

“Next, maintain COVID-secure workplace restrictions and safety measures, including hygiene and ventilation, to keep employees and customers safe. This means mandatory guidance for face coverings in certain close contact settings."

05 Aug 2021

CBI responds to latest changes to travel restrictions

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said today’s green list extension will offer some relief to the international travel sector, which has suffered more than most during the pandemic and still faces a long road to full recovery.

"Restoring freedom of travel to these countries will enable firms to salvage a limited summer season. However, defining a strategy for a more comprehensive resumption of travel that is safe, simple and certain remains an urgent priority."

05 Aug 2021

CBI urges relaxation of international travel restrictions

John Foster, CBI Policy Director, said:

“The UK’s successful vaccine rollout, coupled with lessons learned throughout the pandemic, offer genuine opportunity for more travel to resume safely. The UK urgently needs to widen the list of those able to avoid self-isolation on their return, to include individuals who have received UK approved vaccines, rather than just those who received NHS vaccines."

04 Aug 2021

CBI Scotland responds to First Minister's latest Covid announcement

Gregor Scotland, CBI Scotland Head of Policy, said ending social distancing requirements is a vital step that boosts business capacity just when firms need it most.

“However, with so many restrictions lifting, businesses will be confused why the Scottish Government is continuing to advise people to work from home. The reality is that many firms are well-advanced in their plans and are proceeding with hybrid working models, just as the government advises. It’s up to employers to engage positively with staff to shape new ways of working that work for them, while remaining as safe as possible."

03 Aug 2021

Our response to A303 High Court judgment

Ben Rhodes, CBI Acting South West Director, said:

“This legal decision does not lessen the need for a sustainable solution. Government must now gather the necessary evidence to ensure this much needed infrastructure upgrade can go ahead in a way which meets the UK’s net zero targets and maintains the heritage of the site."

30 Jul 2021

CBI responds to new rules for EU/US air arrivals

Tom Thackray, CBI Director of Infrastructure, said:

“The news will come as a significant boost to the beleaguered travel industry, while also restoring important business links with key trading partners. The task now is to implement these changes as rapidly and smoothly as possible, which should include an efficient pre-travel system of assessing passengers’ Covid-status to prevent congestion at airports.”

28 Jul 2021

Our response to the Government's Disability Strategy

Matthew Percival, CBI Director of People and Skills policy, said:

“Supporting disabled people to get in and get on at work benefits businesses as well as wider society. Employers expect there to be more opportunities for flexible working in the future and support the introduction of unpaid carers leave. The CBI will support the development of guidance on how businesses should collect, analyse and report data on disability in their workforce.”

28 Jul 2021

"This won't get us where we need to be" - CBI responds to the publication of exemption list

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said:

“If we want the economy to stay open, we need a confident but balanced plan. We should bring forward the date from 16 August when those who have been double-jabbed no longer need to self-isolate if they test negative once contacted. We also need a test & release scheme for those who have not been double jabbed. And we should use testing and Covid safety measures to promote a culture of safety and mutuality in workplaces, shops, hospitality and public transport."

25 Jul 2021

Our response to news of 600,000+ asked to self-isolate in one week

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:

“We can end the pingdemic by bringing forward the date by which all those who have been double-jabbed no longer need to self-isolate if not infectious and introducing a test & release scheme. We must also ensure workplaces have access to an effective, accessible testing regime. With workplace testing due to end in a matter of days, firms need urgent clarity on how community testing will work in practice.”

22 Jul 2021

CBI responds to the UK Government Innovation Strategy

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Innovation, said the commitment to increasing investment to £22bn for R&D provides an important signal to business ahead of the spending review.

“This strategy is an important step in ensuring innovation plays its full part in driving economic recovery and addressing the biggest challenges facing society such as decarbonisation, levelling up and health. We are pleased to see the scale of ambition and the focus on unleashing business innovation and investment."

22 Jul 2021

Our response to UK Government statement on Northern Ireland Protocol

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said months of deliberations, businesses are exasperated that the Protocol continues to dominate the headlines with no end in sight.

“Firms are determined to make it work, and to see it bring much needed prosperity to Northern Ireland. That starts by the Joint Committee delivering on the Business Consultative Working Group immediately. It’s time for the EU and the UK to bring business into the discussions to break the deadlock."

21 Jul 2021

Our response to Government's consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace

Matthew Percival, Director of People and Skills Policy, said:

“Companies agree that they should have policies, procedures and cultures that reduce the likelihood of sexual harassment at work as well as responding appropriately when incidents occur. The Government and EHRC should work with companies to ensure the new statutory code of practice explains what taking 'all reasonable steps' means and gives employers confidence that they are meeting their responsibilities.”

21 Jul 2021

'Speed is of the essence' - CBI outlines solution for self-isolation

CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, said:

“With restrictions being lifted and cases rapidly increasing, we urgently need a surefooted approach from government, creating confidence to secure the recovery. This starts by immediately ending the self-isolation period of ten days for people who are double-jabbed and providing a route out of isolation for those not yet fully vaccinated through daily lateral flow tests (see notes to editors). Against the backdrop of crippling staff shortages, speed is of the essence."

18 Jul 2021

CBI responds to news of more than 500,000 people contacted by Test and Trace

CBI President Lord Karan Bilimoria, said:

“The government should urgently bring forward its plans to July the 19th, currently set for August the 16th, to allow double-jabbed individuals not to self-isolate if they have been informed by the NHS Test and trace that they have come into contact with a Covid positive individual. Furthermore, those who have not been double jabbed should not have to self-isolate if they take daily lateral flow tests which record as negative for a prescribed number of days and report them to the NHS.”

15 Jul 2021

Director-General responds to PM levelling up speech

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:

“Levelling Up is not only vital to prosperity and opportunity in all parts of the UK, it’s also a core requirement for our competitiveness in the global economy. The PM is right to recognise the importance of creating confidence among businesses to invest, and empowering local leaders to deliver."

15 Jul 2021

CBI responds to news of more than 500,000 people contacted by Test and Trace

CBI President Lord Karan Bilimoria, said:

“The government should urgently bring forward its plans to July the 19th, currently set for August the 16th, to allow double-jabbed individuals not to self-isolate if they have been informed by the NHS Test and trace that they have come into contact with a Covid positive individual. Furthermore, those who have not been double jabbed should not have to self-isolate if they take daily lateral flow tests which record as negative for a prescribed number of days and report them to the NHS.”

15 Jul 2021

Response to labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI Director for People and Skills, said that short-term, aligning planned changes to self-isolation to the reopening and including a test and release mechanism would help staff shortages.

"To ease acute shortages the government should also immediately update its shortage occupation lists to include jobs ranging from butchers and bricklayers to welders. Longer term, firms must continue to strengthen inclusion while investing in skills and automation. And government can help by ensuring that the qualifications it funds include those in short supply.”

15 Jul 2021

Employers to step up skills investment as Covid transforms work – CBI/Birkbeck Education & Skills Survey

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

"Firms are currently facing a perfect storm of staff shortages worsened by rising levels of self-isolation. They’re taking immediate steps to resolve this, investing in skills and automation and strengthening inclusion. But the Government needs to play its part too on skills and immigration. Longer-term, the Skills & Post-16 Education Bill is an opportunity to deliver on the confidence of most firms that they can meet skills needs in 3-5 years’ time."

15 Jul 2021

CBI Wales responds to First Minister’s latest statement on COVID-19 restrictions

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said firms will now be looking to the Welsh Government to provide clear and consistent guidance on safety proposals as soon as possible to give firms time to plan ahead.

“Further clarity on plans for workplace testing, indoor social distancing, self-isolation, and ventilation would all help immeasurably as we seek to rebuild confidence among businesses and consumers.”

14 Jul 2021

CBI responds to Government’s transport decarbonisation plan

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said firms will hope this plan is followed swiftly by a Heat and Buildings Strategy, a Hydrogen Strategy and an overarching Net Zero plan – all promised to be delivered ahead of COP26 in November.”

“Phase out dates for polluting vehicles across road, rail and aerospace will send an important signal to markets and investors. These must be backed up with credible plans to accelerate the development of clean technologies like hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuels, as well as a comprehensive plan for rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles."

14 Jul 2021

CBI Scotland responds to First Minister's latest statement on Covid-19 restrictions

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said it is now mission critical that the Scottish Government, with the support of business, does all it can to build confidence in the reopening.

“Developing a more agile and responsive test and release system for self-isolation will be a key part of that. The removal of the requirement for contacts of positive cases to isolate from 9 August is welcome, but Covid-related absences are hitting firms hard now and impacting their ability to trade their way to recovery."

13 Jul 2021

CBI comments on step 4 of roadmap

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said it is now mission critical that the Government, with the support of business, does all it can to build confidence in the reopening.

“Part of that is evolving the test and trace system to be fit for purpose in this new phase. That means minimising the need for self-isolation, introducing a test and release scheme swiftly and making it that bit easier for people, especially those who are double jabbed, to go about their business."

12 Jul 2021

Business puts forward six point plan for creating confidence

Outlining the CBI’s six-point plan for cementing confidence and reinforcing the recovery, Director-General Tony Danker said:

“Learning to live and work with the virus is the right strategy. But we need to ensure this is a confident not an anxious transition, otherwise it won’t work. Businesses have had a real boost this week with the Prime Minister’s plans for the final stage of the reopening. What’s needed now is a concerted effort between business and government to create widespread confidence from the get go.”

11 Jul 2021

CBI responds to latest UK GDP statistics

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said while more businesses were able to reopen their doors, times remain tough for our hardest hit sectors, particularly aviation and international tourism with some missing out on valuable summer trade to recoup their losses.

“With further pent-up demand providing an engine for growth, all signs point to a promising economic outlook for the UK over the course of the year. It’s now critical business and government work together to rebuild customer and employee confidence in living with the virus, while also maintaining progress in tackling the pandemic itself.”

09 Jul 2021


Thought leadership

The CBI community responds to today's challenges


Just for members



Why building a diverse team is good for business
Diversity and Inclusion
Members Only Content Padlock

Change the Race Ratio signatories, Moon Executive Search, give expert insight into how and why firms need to increase boardroom representation.

Recent CBI publications



See allkeyboard_arrow_right

Recent CBI keynote speeches



See allkeyboard_arrow_right