Fewer respondent firms are increasing their investment in training and development despite a skills shortage, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The survey found that the proportion of firms intending to increase investment in training and development over the next year has fallen.
It also showed a widespread lack of awareness of key government skills reform programmes, including around the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) and the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP).
Of the firms that do not offer apprenticeships, the key reasons for not doing so were identified as a lack of compatibility between current apprenticeship standards and skill needs; the complexity of administration; and greater relevance of other forms of training.
Matthew Percival, Programme Director for Skills and Inclusion at the CBI, said: ‘Businesses and government need to be pulling every lever to tackle the labour shortages that are holding back growth and putting business investment at risk.
‘Increasing business investment in skills is important and possible, but will require government and businesses to work together to remove the barriers that stand in the way. For example, by remodelling the Apprenticeship Levy into a Skills Challenge Fund – a measure strongly supported by the business community – we can boost employer skills investment and business performance while supporting the government’s skills reforms.’