No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

CBI Brands National Skills System ‘Irrelevant’


The national skills system is ‘irrelevant’ and letting down the country, employers' group the CBI has claimed.

The comments came as the CBI unveiled its own four-point plan it says would put employers in the driving seat to beat skills shortfalls.

The plan includes:

  • Scrapping ring-fenced government funding for FE colleges by channelling money through the Train to Gain system. The CBI argues this would ensure that publicly-funded workforce training was relevant to employers’ needs.

  • Creating a new careers advisory service.

  • Putting employers in the driving seat by ensuring that employer-led sector skills councils are able to decide which qualifications are fit for purpose, and ensure that employers’ own training can be accredited.

  • Reducing the number of skills bodies to create a simplified system that offers effective support and guidance. It also wants a free skills MOT to be offered to all small employers to show the bottom line benefits of training.

Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “While UK firms already make a greater investment in training than our competitor countries, much more needs to be done, and business is ready to play its part.

“We need the right package of support from Government as well as effective incentives for individuals. But at present the skills system is failing to deliver value for money – employers find much of the available publicly-funded training irrelevant and individuals are not offered the support they need.”

The comments come ahead of the Leitch Report on skills, expected to be published on 6 December.

The interim findings of the Leitch Report, commissioned by Gordon Brown, stated that opportunities for unskilled workers will shrink from 3.4 million at present to 600,000 by 2020.

It is estimated that a fifth of the workforce currently lacks the basic literacy and numeracy expected of an 11-year-old.

Lambert added: “We don’t want another shuffling of the deckchairs within a dysfunctional system. Instead a closer relationship between businesses and training could really help us face globalisation with confidence.”


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!