Nearly a quarter of all job openings in 2015 were left vacant because employers could not nd people with the right skills or knowledge to ll them.
Equipping people with better skills is not only crucial to driving productivity, it also has a role in sharing prosperity generated by growth, driving social mobility and ensuring that people can take advantage
of opportunities that new technology is bringing.
The skills landscape is going through significant change – which offers substantial opportunities to deliver employer-led training that can boost skills and performance.
The Trailblazer apprenticeship reforms, in particular, stand out for their potential. As a result of the reforms, employers and training providers are coming together to equip both entrant and experienced workers with the skills they will need to thrive in the workforce of the future. The Apprenticeship Levy is set to transform employer spending on skills.
The extent of these changes creates enormous opportunities for education and training providers. However, they will need to overcome a number of challenges that remain: among them, the present lack of clarity on certain key policy points including the crossover from frameworks to standards and on questions of how the endpoint assessments for apprenticeships will work.
There is also uncertainty over how apprenticeships will be funded, especially in small employers who are not subject to the Levy, and whether there will be funding for people who already have a degree in a technical subject to do a further apprenticeship in management and leadership. Further announcements are anticipated soon – and will be keenly awaited by providers and employers alike.
The context is of course also signi cantly shaped by the Brexit vote, just a few days before the CMI conference. The momentous decision that was taken on 23 June 2016 will have significant ramifications for employers for many years, reaching far beyond the areas of skills alone.
But as employers wrestle with these challenges, it’s clear that better leadership and management has never been needed more. The CMI conference showed that education and training providers are determined to seize the opportunity of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships and work closely with employers to help build better-managed organisations that can thrive in the uncertain times ahead.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Skills first: connecting employers, further education and training providers