Today (January 17 2018), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released a new report which investigates the potential and need for a long-standing, national framework for skills.
The Essex Employment and Skills Board is a feature case-study within the CBI's 2018 skills report, In Perfect Harmony. This document identifies the lack of cohesion and sustainable delivery of skills in the UK between its employers, providers and government; whilst intentions have been good, continuous reforms are failing to give a sustainable provision of skills.
“Too often skills reforms have been well-intentioned, but do not work for learners or businesses across the country, so the system is reinvented again. The Apprenticeship Levy is the latest example of a policy that’s not yet right - the CBI has been clear that it must evolve for the levy to work effectively".
In its case-study, the CBI explains the work of the board and how it is a good example of how strong progression can be made in the face of increasingly challenging skills gaps: "With employers at the heart of this model, their knowledge, experience and expertise is utilised to advise on decision making regarding funding and areas of priority across the region, with the support of Essex County Council".
Amongst other proposals, the report recommends that businesses seek collaborative approach, along with local authorities and providers, in designing a skills system which falls in-line with the Government's Industrial Strategy. As a result, the ESB's partnership with councils in Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock; educators and training and regional employers is recognised as an exemplar of collaboration and business-centricity in the CBI's report.
"This [the ESB] is a clear demonstration of how the partnership approach, and the use of local intelligence can secure and improve opportunities for local residents, align provision to employer need and, ultimately, support economic growth".
We are proud to feature as a positive example of progression for the UK and are continuing to strive for an even more inclusive role within Essex and the UK with new initiatives and a stronger connection with local business.