Fresh approach needed on skills – CBI
The business group said a long-term strategy is needed to help companies thrive.
Measures such as the apprenticeship levy aimed at boosting skills have “alienated” firms, a business group is warning.
The CBI said 28 separate reforms in the past 30 years had led to confusion and failed to deliver on what was needed to improve skills.
Government, businesses and training providers were urged to design a “stable” national framework based on quality, rather than designing qualifications as has happened in the past.
The business group said firms should commit to engage with skills at a senior level.
Neil Carberry, CBI’s managing director for people policy, said: “Skills are vital if we are to adapt to new technologies, increase our global competitiveness and deliver higher wages.
“They are the very heart of a successful industrial strategy, but that means we need a skills approach that lasts for 50 years, not five.
“Too often skills reforms have been well-intentioned, but do not work for learners or businesses across the country, so the system is reinvented again. The apprenticeship levy is the latest example of a policy that’s not yet right.
“There is an opportunity now to establish a stable framework for skills in England – by the Government reviewing the levy and creating a world-class technical system through T-levels.
“If we all work together to get this right, confidence can be built that the English skills system won’t keep changing, enabling firms and skills providers to invest. ”
A Government spokesman said: “The apprenticeship levy provides a real opportunity to tackle the skills shortages we are currently facing and we will continue to work with levy payers so it can be spent effectively.
“Through our industrial strategy we are committed to creating the well-paid, high skilled jobs of the future.”