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Investment in Management Skills Crucial to 'Levelling Up', Say Business Leaders

Business leaders have called on the Chancellor to use his Spending Review to invest in management and leadership education | Credit: Alamy

Chartered Management Institute

2 min read Partner content

Business leaders have called on the Chancellor to make investment in management and leadership skills a central plank of the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review next week, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has urged Rishi Sunak to commit to crucial investment in funding for higher education, apprenticeships, and embedding management development.

Ann Francke, the Chief Executive of the CMI, said the success of the Levelling Up project depended upon a “rock-solid commitment to funding education and training”.

The CMI – which represents more than 170,000 UK managers and business leaders – has identified five key requirements that the Review needs to include to ensure that the UK workforce and economy thrive in the coming years:

  • Maintain current spending levels on higher education 
  • Protect apprenticeship funding, including at degree level 
  • Build management development into education, training, and sector policies 
  • Include four core skills (communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and digital competency) into all Government-funded training provision 
  • Require all Government procurement bids to include management and leadership development 

The CMI has also urged ministers to include mandatory reporting requirements on diversity and inclusion in all funded training programmes, to ensure that they reach individuals and communities across the UK.

“The Chancellor has a golden opportunity to demonstrate his personal passion for improved management by committing to long-term investment in training and leadership skills, and by putting improved management at the heart of every contract the Government enters into,” Francke said.

“Sustained funding for higher and further education must be at the heart of ‘levelling up’ and ‘building back better’.”

She added: “Ministers’ aspirations won’t become a reality unless we see a commitment to building Britain’s human capital at the very heart of this Spending Review…Our five asks aren’t just nice-to-haves -- they’re absolutely vital if levelling up is to become a reality.”

As well as seeking firm commitments to the funding of higher education and apprenticeships, the CMI is also calling on the Government to embed core skills in all funded education and training provision, requiring a commitment to management and leadership development from potential suppliers as part of its procurement process.  

Daisy Hooper, Head of Policy at the CMI, commented: “The Government, as an employer, could really show us all what ‘best practice’ looks like in training and development.

“With an annual procurement budget of almost £300billion a year there is a huge opportunity for the Government to drive private sector commitment to good management and leadership through making M&L training a mandatory requirement for any organisation tendering for a Government contract.”

You can read the CMI’s full recommendations to the Government here.

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