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Calls for government to invest more in careers guidance

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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

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A 10-point plan to boost workforce skills, by supporting people at every stage of their journey through education and employment, has been proposed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The People and Work report, is the second of five policy documents being published by the BCC’s new Business Council as part of the “Future of Economy” project.

It identifies that “the UK’s labour market is at a crossroads,” with vacancies well above pre-pandemic levels and skills shortages still hampering growth.

Topping the BCC’s list of recommendations is a call for the Government to create an industrial strategy that is fit for purpose. It also wants better skills planning at a national, local, employer and individual level, including longer-term investment in Local Skills Improvement Plans.

BCC President, and Chair of the Business Council, Martha Lane Fox, said: “We face a huge challenge in the workforce. We need to focus on recruitment, retaining and retraining. This report sets out a holistic approach that is extremely action-oriented.”

There needs to be more investment to make careers information, education and guidance a mainstream priority for school leaders, she continued, as well as recognition of employers who invest in workplace training, through the tax and procurement systems, and a new skills investment kitemark.

The BCC also urges the Government to reduce the burden and costs on employers who need to access the immigration system for global talent.

Baroness Nicky Morgan, Former Education Secretary, said: “The UK is one of the largest and most innovative economies in the world. But that will only continue if education and skills remain a top priority for policymakers. This report is an excellent blueprint to show how business and Government can work together to deal with the current challenges and future opportunities.”

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