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Skills needs must now drive reforms-CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey

Major skills reforms must deliver quality training, not just quantity

Three quarters (75%) of businesses expect to increase the number of high-skilled roles over the coming years, but 61% fear that there will be a lack of sufficiently skilled people to fill them, according to the 2017 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey.

The survey of 344 companies highlighted that 62% see strong competition for candidates with appropriate qualifications as the most widespread cause of skills shortage, followed by a lack of candidates with appropriate qualifications (55%).

Asked about the impact of the introduction of the £2 billion apprenticeship levy, 58% of firms plan to increase apprentice programmes – but it is not clear how much of this is genuinely new provision, with 63% of respondents planning to reconfigure existing training to comply with the levy.

Careers advice and guidance given to young people was judged as overwhelmingly poor, with 84% of companies surveyed saying the quality and consistency of careers advice is inadequate.  Businesses are actively engaging with schools to help support children and young people, with 81% of those surveyed having links to schools.

See more in Helping the UK thrive, the 2017 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey