New Lifelong Reskilling Strategy Needed

CBI calls for a radical new strategy for lifelong learning and reskilling if UK is to secure an economic recovery

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Last month, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee to help solve the urgent skills challenge facing the UK jobs market. But now the organisation that respresents employers says that research carried out before the start of the pandemic shows an urgent need to go further and faster to reskill the country’s workforce.

90% of workers need retraining

The CBI’s has created the Learning for life: funding world class adult education, report based on analysis of the McKinsey & Company, Future of Work Report

The CBI says that 90percent of workers will need to learn new skills by 2030 and that this will cost the UK taxpayer £13billion a year.

Stark Choice

The report Learning for life: funding world class adult education, says that the UK faces a stark choice: invest more in lifetime learning and upskilling of millions of employees, or stick to business as usual, and risk sustained higher rates of unemployment and skills shortages.

Changing Skills Needs

New technologies and the changing nature of the Uk and world economies are says the CBI transforming the skills that are needed for many jobs, while the need for other roles are being lost entirely.

COVID-19 an Opportunity

Covid-19 is accelerating changes to the way in which people work and the relationship between employers and their employees. This says the CBI creates a momentum that the UK should harness to drive a national reskilling effort to futureproof livelihoods and power UK competitiveness.

Lower-Skilled Have Most to Lose

The CBI’s analysis also shows that failure to invest will harm the livelihoods of the most disadvantaged.

It’s a case of having no skills or having the wrong skills and not retraining will condemn the people to unemployment.

Participation in training by those in lower-skilled jobs which are most at risk from automation is 40% lower than that for higher-skilled workers.

Half of people in the lowest socioeconomic group in the UK have received no training since leaving school.

Regions with historically sluggish employment growth are likely to face the most negative employment impacts from automation.

Skills Training is Key to Success of Level-Up

The UK’s mission to invest in training is therefore not just about the economy,. The CBI propose that upskilling will help to tackle wide inequalities in society, and has a key role to play in the achievement of  the government’s goal to level up the United Kingdom.

Act Now

COVID-19 has knocked many businesses for six, but employers and trainers should see it as an opportunity, a catalyst for action!

The cloud not working at full capacity created by the pandemic may have a silver lining

This time can be used for training, and many employers are already offering their workers the opportunity to retrain in new skills that the company needs.

But says the CBI more scale is needed and so they are  recommending that business, unions, education providers and government must work together to ensure spare time is productively used.

The difference that collective action of this type might create for the UK economy and employees could according to the CBI be transformational.