As the UK continues to compete for business and talent in global markets, employers are looking to up-skill their workforces after a recent report has revealed that the number of employers who are dissatisfied with school and college leavers’ basic skills remains stuck at around a third. This is the same number as around a decade ago – with 42% reporting that they have had to provide remedial training for school and college leavers.
The latest CBI / Pearson Education and Skills survey of 542 organisations, employing around 1.6 million people, reports that 61% of firms say school and college leavers have not developed the self-management skills they need for work while at school.
The survey also finds that as the UK competes ever more for business and talent in global markets, employers are looking to up-skill their workforces. Over the next three to five years, employers expect to need more people with leadership and management skills.
Commenting on the report, John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said, “The UK’s growth will depend on developing a wider and deeper pool of skills so that our economy can prosper in the face of fierce international competition for business. There is nothing more important to the future economic success of our country, and the lives of young people, than education.”
According to the Education and Employer Taskforce, the UK has the worst language proficiency in Europe. An overwhelming 72% of businesses say they value foreign language skills, most importantly for building relations with overseas contacts (39%). The major European languages continue to be the most in demand, but language skills geared towards doing business in China and the Middle East feature prominently.
John Cridland said, “Rebalancing our economy will mean tapping into high-growth markets in places like Asia and Latin America, so companies will need people with the relevant language skills to do business in these countries.”