ECA calls for fit-for-purpose vocational system following mini budget

ECA says the Chancellor’s fiscal statement gives a mixed message to business. It praised the announced cut in corporation tax, which should provide a welcome boost to small businesses and stimulate growth in the medium term.

However, this summer the sector-wide Building Engineering Business Survey found recruitment and retention of the right calibre of staff was the biggest curb on business growth. The Chancellor’s statement failed to mention support for upskilling and training, which could hinder future growth.

ECA Director of Workforce and Public Affairs Andrew Eldred says: “The government is clearly trying its hardest to be as pro-business as possible within a difficult economic context. But the big question is whether these tax cuts will create enough growth to offset an even larger tax bill in a few years’ time.

“One important piece of the growth puzzle, which was overlooked in Mr Kwarteng’s statement, is skills and training.

“We urgently need a fit-for-purpose vocational educational system to maintain a skilled and competence workforce that will be able to deliver Britain’s future infrastructure and create the high-skill, high-value jobs that will drive real growth for many years to come.”

For electrotechnical sector businesses of all sizes, the latest budget measures should help alleviate some of the immediate pressures of rising costs and heavy inflation. But despite these measures, inflation continues to bite hard.

ECA members remain very concerned about the long-term outlook for businesses who are struggling to recruit skilled labour. They also question how these measures will be financed, and how reliable the government’s support will be in the future.

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