Budget 2017 - PwC comments on public sector and education measures

Published at 14:30 PM on 08 March 2017

Commenting on today's Budget announcement, Tina Hallett, Government and Public Sector leader, said:

"I am pleased that the Government has put productivity and inclusive growth at the heart of the Spring Budget, with a flagship additional investment of £500m in technical education for 16-19 year olds.

"It was absolutely vital that this Budget laid the foundations for a much needed boost to the UK's productivity. By investing in the pillars of good growth such as skills and infrastructure the Chancellor has set a clear direction for a post-Brexit world.

“The challenge is for the public and private sector to work together to stimulate growth in the regions and make sure no one is left behind. The size of the prize is significant with a £190bn ‘inclusivity gap’ identified by the RSA's Inclusive Growth Commission.

“Success needs to be judged in new ways. If the government is to deliver growth that benefits everyone, health, housing and quality of life need to be put alongside jobs, skills and incomes, when we measure good growth, creating places where people want to live, work and prosper."

Ian Looker, Head of Education at PwC, said:

"The Chancellor rightly recognises that improving education and skills is key to driving UK productivity and delivering inclusive growth. The focus on vocational education and linking technical skills to jobs is welcome news and creating 15 clear career-focused routes will help young people navigate what is currently a complex landscape.

"When skilled jobs go unfilled, the UK’s global competitiveness and productivity suffers. Focusing on delivering the right skills will be essential if the UK is to improve productivity, build a growing economy and create opportunities for all.

"The time has come to move towards a truly locally-led model for skills which fully recognises the needs of local businesses and serves regional economies. Early pilots of this, for example, the Sheffield Skills Bank have been very successful and shown that a locally driven model can help people to gain meaningful employment in good jobs and will help employers to drive higher levels of productivity in their regional economies.

"If this is to become a reality, however, better joining up of local, practical careers advice and labour market information is required to inspire local young people towards locally available, highly rewarding jobs."



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