Over 40% of UK firms intend to boost their investment in skills.

According to the 2021 Confederation of British Industry (CBI)/Birkbeck, the University of London Education and Skills Survey, over 40% of UK firms aim to boost training investment compared to pre-COVID levels.

The survey, which received 252 responses, reveals how firms are responding to rapid changes in the workplace.

Companies predict a larger need for employees with skills at all levels in the coming three to five years, according to the report.

Employers anticipate an increase in the need for non-qualifying workplace skills such as communication and teamwork. Respondents, on the other hand, are the least confident in their ability to achieve these abilities requirements.

The CBI Education & Skills Survey comes as many businesses struggle to fill openings as the economy slowly recovers from the flu outbreak.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said: ‘Firms are currently facing a perfect storm of staff shortages worsened by rising levels of self-isolation. They’re taking immediate steps to resolve this, investing in skills and automation and strengthening inclusion. But the Government needs to play its part too on skills and immigration.

‘To support individuals to gain new skills, the government should make flexible, bitesize training more accessible before the Lifelong Learning Entitlement is introduced in 2025.

‘Building closer local links between employers and education providers will also be key to supporting every UK region and nation to thrive and ensuring our economy can fire on