This joint report from CBI and Pearson assesses the educational and skills landscape across all ages, and postulates that educational reform can help to fill the growing number of high-skilled roles in the UK.

The report encompasses surveys from 344 companies, and describes businesses fears over a lack of sufficiently skilled workers to fill new and existing roles, and that more effective careers advice should be provided in schools. The survey results show that business-school collaborations are continually growing, and companies are largely willing to assist schools with student development.


  • Three quarters of businesses (75%) expect to have more job openings for people with higher-level skills over the coming years while just 2% expect to have fewer. Well over half of businesses (61%) are not confident there will be enough people available in the future with the necessary skills to fill their high-skilled jobs.
  • By far the most important factor employers consider when recruiting school and college leavers is their attitude to work (86%), followed by their aptitude for work (63%) and general academic ability (43%).
  • Four out of five (81%) businesses have at least some links with schools and/or colleges, with connections most widespread between businesses and secondary schools (66%) and FE colleges (63%).
  • Three quarters of businesses (75%) are willing to play a greater role in delivering careers advice in schools and colleges
  • Businesses see apprenticeships as a valuable route to training and developing their workforces, with the number operating apprenticeship programmes climbing to more than four in five (83%).
  • More than four out of five businesses (84%) across the UK feel the quality of careers advice young people receive is not good enough.

Read more publications from CBI and Pearson.