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Media comment: Let’s not create a wage crisis out of the UK skills crisis

4 October 2021

It’s undeniable that COVID and Brexit have created acute labour shortages in the UK. Yet, as businesses continue to call for a temporary relaxation of rules for foreign workers, we need to face reality. Simply increasing the influx workers and offering them higher wages is not enough to fix Britain’s long-term productivity woes and skills crisis.

Attracting and retaining the right talent is crucial to build a vibrant labour market in the UK and maintain the country’s competitive edge in an ever-changing global scene. But to boost the UK’s productivity and create real wage growth, we must ensure that we invest in people and equip them with the right skills to build a stronger future and underpin long-term growth across the UK’s economy. 

Focusing on fixing short-term labour shortages alone won’t achieve the productivity boost and skills improvements the country needs. We must also focus on delivering a long-term plan to tackle these structural issues and put the UK back on a sustainable, sound footing.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants