Demand for higher-level skills in British industry is set to grow in the years ahead, according to this year’s CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey.
The report, published on 13 July 2015, also predicts that the sectors most central to future growth, like manufacturing and construction, will be particularly hard-pressed when it comes to finding those higher-level skills.
The survey of 310 companies, which together employ over a million people, underlines the skills challenge that the UK faces. It reveals:
- 2 in 3 businesses (68%) expect their need for staff with higher level skills to grow in the years ahead, but more than half of those surveyed (55%) fear that they will not be able to find enough workers with the required skills.
- Demand for highly skilled workers is particularly strong in sectors critical to the rebalancing of the economy – engineering, science and hi-tech (74%), construction (73%) and manufacturing (69%).
At the launch of the report, Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said:
“Better skills are not only the lifeblood of the UK economy – as fundamental to British business as improving our infrastructure, technology and transport links – they are also critical to improving young people's life chances, of enabling them to be a success in life and work.
The government is right to be ambitious about apprenticeships. We need more higher-level apprenticeships in high growth sectors like biotech, engineering, and technology, as well as traditional ones.
“But our further education sector, which provides the Higher National Diploma courses that deliver these technical skills, sits on the edge of a funding precipice and may suffer damage for years to come. Proper funding of further education would provide a huge boost to British businesses and productivity. Without improving the supply of skills, the UK will find it hard to remain competitive in the global economy.”
Read the full press release
Read the report on the CBI website