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LCCI calls for reforms to further education funding to help tackle the skills crisis

Wednesday 19 October 2022

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has submitted evidence to the Department for Education’s consultation on implementing a new further education (FE) funding and accountability system. The consultation will explore in greater detail how to take reforms to the adult skills funding system and the FE accountability system forward to ensure that more adults in employment are encouraged to adopt new skills.

As champion of the London business community, LCCI strongly believes that the system for learners, providers and employers needs more flexibility to ensure disruption is minimal and that adults are encouraged to adopt new skills. At a time when the UK economy is suffering as the result of acute skills shortages, it is vital that adults are able to take on additional skillsets while in gainful employment.

In its submission to the consultation, LCCI identified specific skills gaps and included a number of statistics that demonstrate the impact of skills shortages. These included the findings that:

  • 42% of businesses cited difficulties employing people with the right skills as a key barrier to growth in 2019
  • In 2021, 58% of businesses had a skills or resource gap
  • 44% of London residents lack the full essential digital skills set required for the modern workplace by a study by Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index
  • 22% of London businesses cite managing a remote workforce as the main skills and labour market challenge over the next 12 months, growing to 39% for larger firms. This is more acute for businesses based in professional services, such as the finance/ insurance/business services (31%) and the information/communication/professional scientific and technical industry (29%).

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said: “We welcome the Government’s decision to review its policies in order to tackle the acute skills shortages that the UK is facing. Reforms to further education funding are essential to ensure that adults are able to maintain employment and simultaneously adopt new skills. LCCI looks forward to working with the Government and FE institutions to ensure positive change is enacted that will improve funding and widen accessibility to new skillsets.”

ENDS