The National Living Wage (NLW) has experienced something of a troubled time since its implementation in April 2016. It prompted much debate both before and since the implementation as experts debate the impact its impact.
For a variety of reasons, people are now working for longer. Economic conditions, the raising of retirement ages, improved health and poor future personal financial planning are all contributory factors in this. Workers have to and, in many cases, want to work for longer into what would once have been their retirement years.
The results of the CBI survey provide encouraging signs that businesses are committed to expanding the number of apprenticeships. Although apprenticeships are not a short-term fix, they will be very important if the UK is to find medium and longer-term solutions to address the ongoing concerns of skills gaps.
Respondents to the survey, from all sectors and across all regions of the UK, see this as essential to continued growth and progress. However, businesses also need to have access to people with the right skills.
Engaged workplaces that are inclusive are a clear way for UK businesses to be internationally competitive. A key determiner in whether a firm continues to thrive or stagnates is the extent to which the firm is able to tap into the talents of its own workforce.
50% of respondents to the CBI survey believe that the UK will become a less attractive location over the next five years - and a degree of pessimism is shared across every region in the UK. Expectations are negative across the board, from a fairly modest -3% in the east of England to a very disturbing -49% in Northern Ireland.