Letter to the editor: The UK must better prepare its workforce for the future of work

9 December 2019

Dear editor,  

The U.K. doesn’t have strong track-record when it comes to investing in skills and higher-level skills in particular. But with the world of work changing at breakneck speed, reskilling our workforce will be key to making the most of the digital revolution and boosting our country’s productivity.  
A recent report by the Industrial Strategy Council estimates that 20 percent of the workforce will be significantly under-skilled for their jobs by 2030. Worryingly, our own research also revealed that 37% of UK workers don’t feel that they need to learn new skills despite a growing awareness of the impact of technology on jobs. 
We must better support current workers to reskill and upskill throughout their careers, and this cannot be achieved through formal education alone. This is why we need to review our national education and skills policies, in particular the Apprenticeships Programme, to expand to provide for reskilling and lifelong learning, and continue to fund higher-level apprenticeships. 
Yours sincerely, 
Andrew Harding 
Chief Executive – Management Accounting,  
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants