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Public Sector In Urgent Need of Skills Reform


Skills training within the public sector must be improved if the government is to achieve its programme of reform, says the CBI.

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), nine out of ten businesses believe the education system requires significant improvement while 81% cite improvements to public transport as being a top priority.

The CBI found widespread disappointment with the progress and quality of reforms to date. Just 13% of organisations said they were satisfied with current standards, while only nine per cent found the rate of proceedings to be acceptable.

Sir Digby Jones, Director General of the CBI, said that a lack of skills and high training standards was affecting the ability of UK companies to compete in the international marketplace.

“The competitiveness of the economy and its ability to create jobs and increase national prosperity is being severely damaged by a reform process that is often well meaning but rarely effective.”

2 Responses

  1. Skills coming to the fore
    As a management consultant currently working in the NHS I have found that financial skills are becoming more and more important as the Govt raises the profile of financial management as being central to NHS reforms.

    This seems to be the way in which skills and the reform of those employed in the public sector can be moved forward – raise the profile and set high expectations.

    However, talking to some senior civil servants, often this approach results in private sector individuals moving into the public sector ‘for a bit’ but then when things look rosier back in the private sector they move back again (taking their skills with them).

    There needs to be a balance between upskilling individuals AND rewarding them for long term SUCCESSFUL service.

  2. Professional Skills for Government
    Simon’s comments below reinforces the view that more needs to be done in the civil service on skills – such as financial skills – and on providing a coherent structure to raise and hang on to professionalism.
    To find out what is happening in this area see


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