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July 2013

Time for business to invest in skills

Here we go again. Business lobbying group, the Confederation for British Industry (CBI), has just released a survey that reveals “a stubborn shortage in the skills the UK needs to remain competitive and fuel long-term growth”. According to the survey of 294 companies that employ 1.24 million workers, 39% are struggling to recruit workers with the advanced, technical STEM skills they need and 41% don’t see any prospect of the situation improving in the next three years. As many as 55% think school leavers do not have the right work experience and attributes to set them up for success, such as self management, problem solving and attitude to work and believe there is “a need for school reform to produce people who are rounded and grounded, as well as stretched academically”. Almost a third are dissatisfied with the basic literacy and numeracy of some school and college leavers and 31% think young people lack the required technical skills. CBI director-general John Cridland says the country needs “to boost our skills base urgently ...

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