7 November 2018

The 2018 CBI Education and Skills Annual Report shows that 79% of businesses expect to increase the number of higher-skilled roles over the coming years.

However, it adds, 66% fear that there will be a lack of sufficiently skilled people to fill vacancies.

Published in conjunction with Pearson and available at http://bit.ly/2D6Csog, the report portrays an environment in which the number of higher skilled roles is rising as the skills gaps grows.

“It is impossible to ignore the primary trend in this report - the gap between what is learned in schools, colleges and universities and what is valued by employers,” Pearson’s Rod Bristow said.

Qualifications are one part of the mix, as indicators of achievement and ability, he explained, but nurturing the right attitudes, behaviours and skills as young people progress through the education system is just as important.

Although technical education is highly valued by firms, the system requires urgent improvement, finds the survey and businesses would like the Apprenticeship Levy to evolve into a more flexible skills levy.

Responses from 28,000 businesses also showed that, although links between business and education remain strong, progress is stalling. Nearly half (48%) reported having too little guidance/support on how to make encounters worthwhile for young people.

A similar rate (47%) complained that processes such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and health and safety requirements were difficult and time-consuming.

While it has been common practice to encourage employees to continue learning and developing throughout their careers, the report notes, it is now essential to upskill and retrain employees to stay competitive with technological advances changing the nature of work.

To that end, businesses will need to incorporate a culture of lifelong learning to provide training and development opportunities that meet the demands of the future.