“This report highlights what we in the business community have been saying for some time. It is clear that a shortage of skills is preventing businesses from reaching their full potential, and hurts productivity. Firms need support to invest in existing staff, while working together with schools to bridge the gap between education and employment.
“There is no easy fix. But politicians and business will ignore this at their peril. The government needs to focus on the quality of apprenticeships, not the quantity – which will not help the next generation progress. Furthermore, this report shows now is not the time to introduce an Immigrant Skills Charge, as recently proposed by the Migration Advisory Committee. Businesses are currently experiencing acute skills shortages and we shouldn’t further handicap them by increasing the cost of recruiting the talent they need.”