Educating for the Modern World: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Annual Report

By CBI & Pearson (published November 2018)

Educating for the Modern World: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Annual Report

This CBI and Pearson report marks the tenth anniversary of their annual Education and Skills Survey. The 2018 survey received responses representing over 28,000 businesses consisting of, but not limited to, organisations from manufacturing, education, construction and the financial services. Amongst the report’s most important findings, 79% of respondents felt that the number of high-skilled roles was expected to increase over the coming years. Two-thirds of businesses were concerned that there will be a lack of sufficiently skilled people to fill these roles. This is the first report of the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey to ask employers about the upcoming T-Levels, which will be introduced in 2020. T-Levels will provide a technical option for 16-18-year olds to study for a specific job in a specific occupation, consisting of a substantial work placement and final qualification. Unfortunately, 42% of businesses surveyed were unaware of the T-Levels and 64% of were not aware of the work placement element.

Employers continue to value apprenticeships as an excellent pathway for potential young recruits but remain critical of the current state of the apprenticeship levy. The number of businesses operating apprenticeship programmes has fallen from 83% since its introduction to 70% in 2018. While just over a third of firms have created new apprenticeship programmes, 26% are simply absorbing the levy. Respondents cited the inflexibility of funding rules, lack of clear guidance about the rules and difficultly recruiting a sufficient number of apprentices as the three biggest challenges for businesses in the first year of the Levy’s operation. The November 2018 Budget has met several of the report’s recommendations on apprenticeships including raising the transfer cap from 10% to 25% and reducing apprenticeship fees for small businesses from 10% to 5%.

Read the report here