The financial services sector is suffering from a worsening skills shortage, according to the CII's Skills Survey 2008.
Three quarters of financial services employers reported a shortage of technical skills, up 5% on 2007.
The issue has become so critical it is now on the agenda in four out of five boardrooms which represents a huge increase of 20% on 2007, the survey found.
Over half the employers (57%) accused the education system of failing to meet the needs of the industry with only 3% describing basic levels of education as "more than adequate". In addition employers felt that nearly two thirds (61%) of graduates struggled with even the basic skills like grammar and numeracy.
These findings coincide with an increase of 14% to 73% of employers who believe employees will need higher qualifications in the future.
In response to the findings CII President Lord Hunt said, "The results of this survey provide a wake up call, if indeed one was needed, that we all need to play an active part in raising skill levels. The increase in those reporting skills gaps is a particular worry. Employers, individuals and institutions like the CII, the Financial Services Skills Council and the Government need to continue to work together to ensure that the industry's needs are being met.
"In this period of economic instability it is vital that we do not take our eye off the skills issue, tempting though that may be. Cuts to training budgets in order to make a quick saving will in the end prove to be a false economy."
The CII Group Skills Survey 2008 was an online survey sent to all qualified UK CII & PFS members. A total of 3511 members responded to the survey of whom 834 were employersIFAonline
Smoking biggest culprit; obesity second
Average earner will gain £840 in 2018
Will also move heritage items
Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan