The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) calls on the government to focus on future investments in skills in industries to help compete on the world stage and address social mobility
Service industries accounted for 81% of the UK's economic output in 2018. These are also the most impacted sectors by lockdown restrictions needing the government’s support packages to survive, this has emphasised the vulnerability of the workforce in these industries.
While the governments most immediate energy is response to restoring jobs and increasing consumer spending, it must also stress creation of long-term recovery including boosting social mobility.
CIMA have confidence in the value of education and skills development in sectors such as:
- digital technology - AI, virtual reality, wearables, robotics;
- education technology - learning apps, virtual learning environments, gamification;
- healthcare - pharmaceutical research, biochemistry, genomics;
- financial services - payments, ESG investments; and
- engineering and construction - environmental and sustainability-related industries.
A 2019 report by the Industrial Strategy Council estimated even before the pandemic that 20% of the workforce will be significantly under-skilled for their jobs by 2030.
Despite a growing awareness of the impact of technology on jobs, according to CIMA in 2019, 37% of UK workers do not feel that they need to l earn new skills.
Management Accounting, assert: ‘By creating rapid and profound shifts in our economy and the labour market, the pandemic has exacerbated some of the UK’s prevailing issues such as faltering productivity, widening skills gap and failing social mobility.
‘A new, post-lockdown reality is now sinking in, we must not fall into the trap of believing in a return to “business as usual”.
If we are to get the economy back on its feet, remain competitive on the global scene and sustain growth, we must now foster both capital investment in business and invest wisely into developing a skilled, motivated workforce. That provides the opportunity to advance social mobility through creating quality jobs and real wage growth.’
CIMA calls on the government to consider the following measures:
1. Improve investment in apprenticeships for dynamic industries. This will support UK workers to increase transferable skills and open new career opportunities, which will in turn increase social mobility and contribute to real wage growth.
2. Push regional investments to bring new skills clusters. This will push innovation and interest inward investments, driving economic progress and prosperity to level up UK regions.
4. Push investments in the direction of higher level apprenticeships (from level four to seven). This will elevate the skill levels of UK workers to meet the pressures of the economy and boost social mobility. In turn, this will improve the country’s productivity performance and global competitiveness.
5. Streamlining the Apprenticeship Levy by permitting apprenticeship providers to also become end-point assessors. This will generate a simpler, more flexible system for both apprentices and employers, guaranteeing that funds are allocated to skills development rather than bureaucracy for the benefit of both people and business.