With Brexit negotiations now underway, a new chapter is beginning for the UK. We have a real opportunity to properly debate what we want the future UK economy to look like and what steps we need to take to get there.
The biggest challenge facing many businesses and the UK economy post-Brexit is possible skills shortages or worsening of existing shortages. A strong economy, strong private sector and strong public services all rely on a skilled, talented workforce. And a strong society depends on providing great career opportunities for the next generation.
There has never been a more important time for employers and Government to work together to deliver the skilled economy we need for the future. Skills shortages may get worse as we leave the EU and possibly have reduced, or no, access to skilled workers through Free Movement to plug the shortfall.
We want to work with Government to deliver a strong economy and the skills the country needs for tomorrow. We believe that for this to happen, we must have a system that better connects business and education. Barriers that currently exist to the most talented young people from all backgrounds finding out about and taking up opportunities such as apprenticeships or studies at university technical colleges, should be emphatically and urgently removed: we must do all we can to put vocational routes genuinely on an equal footing with academic routes.
We urge politicians to consider the seventeen tangible measures in this paper, which would make a real difference to ensuring that the plans already in place are genuinely able to deliver the skilled workforce the country needs to thrive post-Brexit.
To read the paper in full, click here.