A major annual survey has suggested that UK employers want more control over training, with qualifications better tailored to their needs. 39% of the firms surveyed said they were currently struggling to recruit workers with the advanced scientific, technical, engineering and maths skills they needed. Some 41% said they expected difficulties within the next three years. Skill shortages are particularly common in the engineering, hi-tech, computing and science sectors. The Confederation of British Industry suggested that current skill shortages in these key sectors may hamper economic recovery. About a third of employers surveyed believe that school leavers lacked basic literacy and numeracy, and a third that they lacked technical skills. The CBI has called for the existing system to be fine-tuned to different sizes of employer with devolved funding and less red tape. At the moment, there is little incentive for smaller businesses to invest in training. Doug Richards carried out an independent review of apprenticeships last year, which warned that too many training schemes had become government-led initiatives, shaped by training professionals rather than employers. He called for new qualifications to be redefined by employers, with less “bureaucratic box ticking assessment”, and for funding for training to go directly to businesses. The CBI has called for the government to implement these recommendations and to protect funding for skills training and apprenticeships. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with employment solicitors in Bath and across the country.