Speaking in response to the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, Julian Gravatt, Deputy Chief Executive for the Association of Colleges, said: “The CBI/Pearson survey rightly identifies the skills gap issues facing employers. For the UK to succeed in a post-Brexit world, this country must be self-sufficient in skills. Colleges can make this a reality. We need to develop a new culture of lifelong learning and make this the norm for all communities and for all people. To achieve this, we need to have the right investment.
“The Sainsbury Review and Post-16 Skills Plan highlight the importance of engaging both employers and educators in establishing the new technical and professional education and training pathways. Colleges are at the forefront of delivering this vision and have great experience and insight into what is best for students as well as how to develop skills, set the curriculum and ensure successful assessment.
“Apprenticeships are a powerful way for people to enter the labour market and develop a career as well as helping people progress in work to higher levels. When they work well they play a major part in filling skills gaps and shortages, supporting social mobility and helping to improve productivity. However, there must be a focus on quality, rather than quantity.”