Skills are even more important during tough economic times, according to a new report published by the CBI.
The report, Reaching Further: Workforce development through employer-FE college partnership, calls for better and closer links between employers and further education (FE) colleges to help firms plug future skills gaps.
Commissioned by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, the report shows that almost half of firms (47%) have links with FE colleges.
The report warns that with the majority of the workforce in 2020 having already left compulsory education, the importance of raising skill levels among those in work today becomes paramount.
Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “The case for greater collaboration between employers and colleges is compelling – being flexible and competitive is even more important for firms during a recession.
“We need to see more businesses considering what colleges can offer, and thinking clearly about their own training needs. But we also need to see more colleges upping their game to match the good practice already in evidence around the country.”
A key lesson for government policy-makers, according to the report, is that training should be focused on real business needs, rather than just delivering qualifications.