Investment in Workplace skills – over 40% of UK employers planning to increase

More than 40% of UK employers are planning to increase investment in workplace skills compared with pre-COVID levels, according to the 2021 Confederation of British Industry (CBI)/Birkbeck, University of London Education and Skills Survey.

The survey, which was completed by 252 respondents, shows how businesses are responding to accelerating changes to work.

It showed that over the next three to five years companies expect to have greater need for people with workplace skills at all levels.

Employers most expect the need for other workplace skills unattached to qualifications – such as communication and teamwork – to increase. However, respondents are the least confident about meeting these skills needs.

The CBI Education & Skills Survey is published against a backdrop of many companies struggling to fill vacancies, as the economy reopens rapidly from the pandemic.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said: ‘Firms are currently facing a perfect storm of staff shortages worsened by rising levels of self-isolation. They’re taking immediate steps to resolve this, investing in skills and automation and strengthening inclusion. But the Government needs to play its part too on skills and immigration.

‘To support individuals to gain new skills, the government should make flexible, bitesize training more accessible before the Lifelong Learning Entitlement is introduced in 2025.

‘Building closer local links between employers and education providers will also be key to supporting every UK region and nation to thrive and ensuring our economy can fire on all cylinders.’

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