AICPA & CIMA have released a report comparing UK skills policy to a number of competitor countries, to identify potential areas for future UK policy development. The report analysed skills policy in Singapore, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

The report highlights the potential for the government to work more closely with existing skills providers in the UK. Professional bodies in all fields have played a key role in equipping the workforce with high-end relevant skills for decades, and the report has revealed examples where government policy could be better aligned with this goal. In doing so, we could create opportunities to raise the productivity level of the UK economy. 

AICPA & CIMA proposals include:

  • Make the new Lifelong Loan Entitlement available for courses provided by professional bodies.
  • Increase investment towards STEM-specialised institutions.
  • Create an insurance scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises to underwrite the costs to the business where an apprentice fails or drops out of the programme.

Commenting on this, AICPA chief executive of management accounting, Andrew Harding, said: “The U.K. runs the risk of falling further behind our global competitors because we are not keeping up with the skills required in the modern marketplace. Putting in place polices which deliver these skills would result in a significant improvement in productivity, which is vital for generating real economic growth and the improvement in living standards.

“Professional bodies representing skilled workers from many different fields play a key role in developing and maintaining these skills. I want to see the government work more closely with bodies like ours to tackle skills gaps in emerging areas such as AI, and to support employers as part of an integrated industrial strategy to address productivity woes.”

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