The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published the Annual Education and Skills report in partnership with Pearsons, the aim of the report is to find out what businesses think about Education and Skills. The survey was completed by SME’s and employers with up to 5,000 + employees, therefore representing a wide range of employers/employees.

Some highlights of the report include the apprenticeship levy, employers have found the new levy confusing and a barrier to engaging with apprenticeships. With 20% stating the greatest barrier is the ‘lack of clear guidance’. 59% have experienced difficulty in recruiting apprentices, is this because students are unaware of the option? Does more need to be done in schools to open up this option to students when they are considering their future destinations. On the whole 73% of businesses reported that the apprenticeship levy has had some impact on them.

Another highlight of the report was the link businesses play in schools, encouragingly 65% of businesses stated they would play a greater role in supporting schools but barriers included inadequate guidance on making work experience worthwhile. We know that pupils who have four or more interactions with employers while at school are five times more likely to be in work as an adult. Engagement on a local level is valuable as a shared understanding of local issues/priorities is prevalent.

TES article from 5th November stated:

Second, business needs to do more. Whether that’s employers helping to make sure that the curriculum and education prepare young people for successful careers; business leaders inspiring and opening people’s minds to all the different vocations and education routes available; or a greater number of business leaders becoming trustees and school governors. To encourage this, schools should be rewarded by Ofsted and the Department for Education for building partnerships with business.

In Wiltshire we offer an initiative called Be Involved which enables employers to support the employability of our young people and the future workforce. Supporting local schools, supporting those with significant barriers to work, offering apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships. We hope to help address some of the barriers employers are facing as described above through our work on Be Involved.

Being part of Be Involved means your business can support the residents of Wiltshire and inspire a future workforce, as well as assisting local projects such as the Enterprise Adviser Network and Building Bridges.

When you sign up to the initiative, a member of Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Skills service will be in contact to discuss what support your business is interested in. We will then be in contact with you when opportunities arise that you have registered an interest in, and we will also contact you from time to time to see how things are going.

If you would like to get involved please fill out the pledge form below or contact us at

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