The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed that basic skills are vital for the running of a business.

Commenting on yesterday’s report from the Public Accounts Committee on the lack of basic adults skills in the UK, CBI’s head of education and skills, Richard Wainer, claimed that Britain will suffer because of it.

“This education issue is also a business issue. A third of firms say some staff lack basic skills,” Mr Wainer said.

“As a result, customer service and productivity suffer and so does Britain’s ability to compete in the global economy.

“The government needs to ensure school leavers can read, write and do basic maths at the very least. People who have these basic skills are more attractive to employers.”

A recent survey by the CBI found that more than a third of companies were concerned about their employees’ basic literacy and numeracy skills, with 40 per cent of businesses claiming it was the area that had the biggest effect on customer services.