Responding to the Education Secretary’s speech today, Joe Fitzsimons, Head of Education and Skills Policy, said:
"Directors will welcome the pledge of a further education system that draws on employers' perspectives. Skills gaps continue to be a leading concern for businesses, the pandemic has only amplified this, and many business leaders are eager to play their part.
"It's fair to say that some routes through further education have been under-utilised, and we can look to close skills gaps in different areas by diversifying our approach. Recent spending commitments around apprenticeships, traineeships, and colleges are a welcome start, but there are many more kinks in the system to be ironed out.
"While there has rightly been significant focus on young people, who are often worst hit in a downturn, it's important we recognise the need to improve training across the board. Employers consistently say that alongside STEM they are hungry for improved leadership and management skills, and directors are eager for the details of the new Skills Fund."