Employer-members of The 5% Club were asked for their opinion on a number of challenges facing their sector and the role of apprenticeships and other earn-and-learn training.
All businesses surveyed agreed that on-the-job training can help companies prepare for the future by providing relevant skills, with 78% strongly agreeing. A majority (91%) said that earn-and-learn training could significantly help to address ongoing skills gaps.
A further 67% stated that earn-and-learn training, such as apprenticeships, is critical for upskilling an ageing workforce.
Penny Cobham, director general of The 5% Club, said that growth in AI, combined with an ageing population, spelled significant challenges for businesses.
“Over the next few years businesses will face unprecedented change. The increasing use of artificial intelligence data insight and other technological advances will become the expected norm for businesses in order to thrive and as such, we need to prepare our workforces accordingly,” she said.
“At the same time, we will see a growing, ageing population, working for longer and requiring their skills to be updated more regularly, either in existing jobs or when developing their careers. Underpinning this is the ongoing skills crisis across sectors."
Cobham asserted that workplace training is the solution: “Work-based training opportunities can provide a significant part of the solution, offering employers the chance to drive new skills and training in line with how their business model and order pipeline will look in the next five to ten years."
Further education providers also have a vital role, Cobham said: “Further education providers also need to play their part by providing courses which are in line with the skills of the future. Through work-based training, we are not only preparing our employees of all ages for the jobs of the future, but also driving economic growth by ensuring our businesses are ready, agile and equipped with the right skills to operate efficiently and productively for the coming years.”
The 5% Club has around 340 member businesses from a range of sectors, including large corporations and SMEs.