Business wants education and skills at top of manifesto priority list

Education and skills are the top priorities that business wants addressed in political parties’ election manifestos, according to the CBI.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal-Democrats are expected to set out their manifestos this week in the run-up to the general election on 5 May.

CBI director general Sir Digby Jones warned the parties that none of them will have the money needed to fulfil election promises over the next five years unless the business cause is supported.

The CBI wants the new government to raise the standards of English and Maths among 16-year-olds and to invest in improving the flawed basic skills of 15 million adults.

CBI research has revealed that a third of companies are forced to give school leavers remedial training to compensate for shortcomings in the education system.

Jones said the UK would not be able to compete in the modern global economy unless the UK had well-educated and motivated employees.

“The next government must build on the current government’s initiative to increase literacy in secondary education, and improve vocational training,” he said. “It needs to focus on improving the basic skills of school leavers and achieve dramatic progress in both literacy and numeracy.”

Transport is another serious worry for business, according to the CBI, who claim 89% of firms are dissatisfied with the reform of public transport.

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