The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the professional body operating worldwide training and supporting over 10,000 students and member working in accountancy and finance across Scotland, has highlighted the unprecedented scale and pace of employment flux in its response to Holyrood’s review of skills.

In a wide-ranging response discussing the progress of the country’s skills landscape for accountancy and finance, the professional body highlighted that Scotland had made strong progress in developing multiple pathways into the profession, for example through the development of new apprenticeship routes.

However, post-Covid, with firms struggling to retain and recruit staff, ACCA suggests that Scotland’s education and skills bodies need to play a clearer role supporting employees and employers to navigate through new workplace challenges, including improving work experience for those in education, supporting the mental health and resilience of teams, and improving the management of hybrid working, including online learning.

The industry body also highlighted the need to improve how professions and skills bodies work together in the task of illustrating career opportunities to learners, as well as teachers and parents; pointing out the need to better explain roles such as those in data analysis, where there is high employer demand.

Commenting on ACCA’s submission to the review, ACCA’s head of Scotland, Susan Love said:

“It’s not surprising that the perma-crisis of the last three years has left a mark on Scotland’s workplaces. While professionals at all stages in their career have proved their resilience throughout the uncertainty and upheaval, we know that many employers and employees are struggling to make sense of where and what next.”

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Love further added: “With a shortage of skilled staff for many roles, we need Scotland’s workplaces to be firing on all cylinders to get us on the path to economic recovery. While there’s much to be proud of across our education and skills landscape, a stronger focus on increasing the number of innovative and productive workplaces will be key to meeting the ambitions for our economy.”