ACCA comments on the skills agenda in the 2017 Budget
The Chancellor’s Budget statement mentioned developments for apprenticeships, maths and digital skills, which ACCA UK says if delivered properly will bring benefits for UK plc.
The promise to deliver three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 is ambitious, and one where the government will need to work hand-in-hand with employers, commented ACCA UK’s John Williams, head of employer relations.
‘Having just announced our ACCA Accounting Technician (Level 4 Trailblazer) and the new ACCA Professional Accountant Apprenticeship at Level 7, we’re pleased the Chancellor spoke about the need for flexibility with the apprenticeship levy for employers.
‘It’s vital the government continues to work with employers on how the levy can be spent so it supports UK productivity, the key challenge facing the economy and business growth in the years ahead. The Chancellor also spoke about the need for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow, and apprenticeships can be part of the growth equation for them.
‘The announcement about supporting the development of maths skills in the UK is also encouraging. Maths and financial literacy are important, forming a firm foundation for business management, so the development of maths schools that will enable young people to develop their skills is welcomed – it will be a key step towards encouraging more young women into STEM subjects, in which they are historically underrepresented.
‘However, at ACCA, we believe there’s a need for not just maths and numeracy skills – young people need to be able to communicate the numbers really well. They have to be good with words and numbers. The accounting profession, like many other professions, needs diverse people from diverse backgrounds with diverse skills.’
ACCA has also welcomed the Chancellor’s comments about digital learning, which aligns with ACCA’s commitment to online learning through ACCA-X, its online platform for accountancy qualifications.
‘Digital learning offers a great opportunity for learner, and ACCA-X is a successful global online platform that starts people on the ladder to becoming a qualified accountant – but it’s also a great way to learn new skills about budgeting and numeracy.
‘We need to remember that education exports – such as global accountancy qualifications - are a critical component of the UK economy, and a world leading education success story which could be a source of growth. Students, research and intellectual capital need Treasury support if they are to realise their potential.’
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Notes to Editors
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
ACCA supports its 198,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,291 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.