The UK will face a shortfall of 10,200 qualified accountants by 2050, due to an ageing workforce and restrictive migration policies, specialist recruiter Randstad Finance and Professional has warned.

Using employment rates from the most recent analysis by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, combined with predicted changes in the UK population and working age rate, Randstad has established that the UK as a whole will have a deficit of 3.1m qualified accountants by 2050, representing 9% of the required workforce.

The population is predicted to reach 74.5m by 2050, with a pool of 45.1m people forecast to be eligible to work.

Assuming the employment rate matches pre downturn levels of 71.6%, Randstad predicts that an ageing population will leave the UK with only 32.3m people in employment, 3.1m short of the 35.4m required.

Due to a 16% rise in work related emigration since 2007 and a 24% fall in work related immigration, Randstad also said that migration was one of the key drivers of the skills shortage.

Tara Ricks, Randstad Financial and Professional managing director Tara Ricks said "unfortunately, with a stagnant economy and crippling work related migration policy, the UK represents a much less attractive option for both domestic and overseas talent".

However, Randstad said there is a silver lining for accountants because in order to stop their top talent moving abroad, firms have raised the average salary for qualified accountants by 7.5% (£4,156 – $6,584), despite directors and chief executives of major organisation’s only seeing an average rise of 1.3%.

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