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Businesses and education providers work together to develop skills of UK workforce

02/11/2017
Middlesex University and CBI lead ‘Tackling the skills gap’ information sharing session for businesses

The Global Corporate Engagement team at Middlesex has provided insight for business leaders on how to ensure the UK workforce has the skills it needs, both now and in the future.

The ‘Tackling the skills gaps’ event followed a number of recent CBI surveys where businesses from a range of sectors reported problems recruiting and retaining appropriately skilled staff.

Challenges faced by employers

Around a hundred business leaders from a wide range of industries attended the debate which took place at CBI Headquarters.

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is critical businesses ensure employees have the right skills to compete globally, helping to foster growth and prosperity for the UK economy.

Middlesex represented the Higher Education sector in our role as a University for Skills. Along with Middlesex and CBI were ManpowerGroup, a group providing workforce management solutions. The panellists provided insight into the challenges employers are facing and how they are addressing these.

Host Pippa Morgan, CBI Head of Group, Education & Skills, spoke about the need for education providers and businesses to work closer together to address future workplace skills needs.

She was joined by Anthony Impey, CEO of Optimity and a member of the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Taskforce & Chair of the Government’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board. He demonstrated the links between the Mayor and the Government’s wider policies around skills and training.

Mark Cahill, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup, raised concerns about the widening gap between lower skills levels and the higher skills businesses have identified they will need in the future.

How Middlesex supports skills development

David Williams, Director for Global Corporate Engagement at Middlesex, highlighted how Middlesex can work with businesses to help them understand the Apprentice Levy. As he told the group, “When we link the opportunities of the Apprentice Levy with robust workforce planning we can create a transformative environment for business.”

"The area of skills development is essential in these challenging business times.' – David Williams, Director for Corporate Engagement

David demonstrated ways to use the levy effectively within business using case study examples of how companies and the University have worked together on a new Degree Apprenticeship in B2B sales.He explained that others have taken a more traditional work-based approach together with a qualification to help staff gain reflective skills and project management experience. These kinds of investment from business have also helped with staff retention issues, satisfaction ratings and the development of future talent.

The event gave businesses tangible examples of what to try in order to address recruitment and skills challenges.

Work with our team

The Corporate Engagement team are working with businesses across the UK on their Workforce Development and Levy challenges. To talk to David Williams or a member of the team contact corporate@mdx.ac.uk.

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