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Media advisory: Spring Budget 2021 – What could it mean for skills and productivity?

24 February 2021, London – Amid the pandemic and the ongoing challenges surrounding skills and productivity, this year’s Spring Budget comes at a critical time for the UK. The country’s productivity has been particularly poor since the financial crisis and lower than its European neighbours. Investment in innovation and skills is urgently needed to support long-term growth.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting at The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, said: 

“The Chancellor should be using this budget to support people right across the working generations in every region of the UK to learn the skills needed for driving greater growth. As well as helping to tackle the skills deficiency, businesses and employees will be taking a significant step forward in upskilling and helping to close the UK’s widening skills gap. Investment, innovation and skills are the key ingredients to unlocking the country’s potential and moving it forward.”

CIMA is calling on the Chancellor to: 

  • Ensure training is mandatory in coronavirus job support packages
  • Make a new push on digital skills to make the UK post-pandemic ready
  • Expand the Apprenticeship Levy to become an “Apprenticeship and Skills Levy” to allow employers to spend levy money not just on apprenticeships, but also on recognised continuing professional development to re-skill the workforce
  • Introduce a “Rebuttable right to retrain”
  • Look to what lessons we can learnt from other countries on R&D tax incentives
  • Create and invest in skills clusters across the UK and look at models such as development corporations to help drive both public and private investment into left-behind regions

To find out more about CIMA’s proposals for the Spring Budget, read our Productivity and Skills bite-sized policy briefing.