City & Guilds annual skills index 2021

City & Guilds annual skills index 2021

The Foundation for Education Development (FED) are delighted to share the City & Guilds Group annual skills index 2021. This report helps to shape our thinking at the FED about what is needed about a long-term plan and vision for education, by as Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds Group said “measuring trends in changing skills demand and build a longer term perspective on what is needed to foster a culture of lifelong learning, enabling businesses to fill skills gaps however their needs evolve whilst helping people to upskill throughout their working lives.”

City & Guilds annual skills index 2021.

This index, created in collaboration with labour market economists Emsi and the British Chambers of Commerce explores how the skills and employment landscape is transforming and examines what skills and opportunities are growing now, and in the future.

Our index finds that the pandemic has accelerated change in the UK’s labour market, leading to a shift in the type of jobs available and the skills sought after by employers.

It also unveils some growing mismatches between the skills people have, and the ones needed by businesses today and in the future – suggesting that businesses’ productivity and ability to succeed is at stake.

Analysing data collected by the British Chambers of Commerce, our report found:

  • Just over half (54%) of businesses state that their organisation can recruit the skilled individuals they need.
  • Over half (56%) face some kind of barrier to meeting their skills and talent needs – with 28% citing the mismatch between skills they need, and the skills people gain through school and education as a barrier.
  • Three in five (61%) working age adults don’t feel they are equipped with all the skills they will need to unlock new opportunities over the next five years.
  • 30% (equivalent to 11 million people) have not received formal workplace training in the last five years and, highlighting the pandemic’s impact on training budgets, nearly two thirds (64%) have not received any training in the past year.

As a result, we are calling for a shift in mindset among individuals, businesses and Government, to refocus funding and resources towards helping create a culture of lifelong learning that supports people to develop new skills throughout their working lives.

We are at a pivotal moment for skills and jobs and our report makes clear recommendations that will help businesses to get the skills they need and support people to retrain and reskill throughout their lives.

  • Five-decade careers mean that we need a new more radical approach to lifelong learning.
  • Employers, individuals and Government all need to play a part in funding lifelong in the future.
  • Better use of the data to enable government, employers and individuals to plan for future skills needs and a ‘common language of skills’ needed.
  • Making the skills system more accessible to smaller businesses. 

For the full report click here.


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