Businesses and educators must ‘solve the skills gap’

10 Jul 2017


Last week saw the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual Business and Education Summit take place, bringing together representatives from Chambers across the country, who are working to increase collaboration between the business community and education providers to improve young people’s transition from schools, colleges and universities into the workplace.

The key themes of this year’s event included; How can schools create the business leaders of tomorrow; Maximising productivity through skills; and How universities and business can work together to drive economic growth.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce, called on businesses and educators to work together to solve the skills gap by improving the transition from education to the workplace. He said: “Unless we improve the transition from the world of education to the world of work in the UK, we won’t fix our long-standing issues around productivity – which stop us paying our way in the world as a nation; our firms will be less competitive against their global peers – as businesses struggle to fill skills gaps, and have to divert their training focus to fixing basic skills; and crucially, the burning question of fairness between generations – one of the biggest issues facing our country today – will not be fully addressed.

“These are not left-wing or right-wing issues. They are national imperatives.

“We as business need to do more. Together with colleagues from educational institutions of all stripes, from local government, and from national government, we have a duty to ensure that all young people at school – and indeed far more of our teachers – have regular and repeated interactions with businesses, with industry, and with life in the workplace.

“We have a duty to help school- and college-leavers access the world of work and opportunity, and find their route to personal fulfilment and success.

“A duty to generate confidence between businesses on one hand, and potential recruits on the other – revitalising the social contract between them.

“And finally, we also have a duty to continue to build partnerships between our educational institutions and firms across the country – with a shared focus on the success not just of individuals, but also of the places that they call home.”

St Helens Chamber offers a number of programmes to foster relationships between schools and businesses, exposing young people to the world of work and the variety of career roles on offer.

To find out more about how you or your business can support these programmes, click here or email