A lack of support for skills and green policy

The Budget could have gone further to support both skills development and green policy in the UK

While we welcome many of the announcements made by the Chancellor in the Spring Budget, ACCA is disappointed at the relative lack of support on both skills and green policy.

The UK has long faced significant skills challenges: tackling widening skills gaps across sectors is critical to boosting growth and productivity. While we welcome the announcement of a new upskilling fund pilot to help SMEs develop AI skills for the future, we believe it does not go far enough in the current skills landscape. A greater emphasis on improving investment in skills and training is needed. This includes a continued investment in quality teaching and learning.

Apprenticeship provision remains highly valued by employers of all sizes; funding must be consistently reviewed against inflation to ensure the quality of provision is maintained. The lack of additional investment across the skills landscape is a significant threat to the UK's global attractiveness and economic competitiveness.

Despite reference to the £28bn pledge scrapped by Labour, no announcements were made pertaining to the UK's transition to net-zero or green policy initiatives.

ACCA was surprised to see a lack of detail given recent attendance at COP28. We will continue to engage with the government and members to ensure the development of effective sustainability-related policies. This includes work such as our recent response to the Phase II TCFD Consultation on climate-related reporting in the public sector.

ACCA believes that the evolving role, skills, judgement and all-round data-informed view of professional accountants means that they can make invaluable contributions to the efforts of organisations and society at large in transitioning to a more sustainable economy.