Responding to the Budget statement, Ian Brinkley, Acting Chief Economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said:

"The new OBR figures on both growth and productivity make for grim reading. With forecasts cut for both in every year, the measures announced in the Budget today don't seem to meet the scale of the challenge that the country faces. We need a bold package of reforms and radical investment in skills to tackle the productivity crisis. Today’s announcements amount to little more than a sticking plaster on a problem that needs major surgery. 

"While there is welcome investment in infrastructure, those commitments are once again undermined by the piecemeal approach to skills investment. We welcome the commitment to a National Retraining Partnership and the investments to support Unionlearn, but overall the investments announced today don't come close to reversing the historic decline in public funding for adult skills and life-long learning. If the Government wants to build an economy that is 'fit for the future' then we need a much greater investment in the skills agenda, including how skills are used in the workplace. The CIPD believes that at least 5% of the National Productivity Investment Fund should be allocated to boosting investment in skills, and particularly for life-long learning.

“The Government's Industrial Strategy provides them with another opportunity to make bold, meaningful investment in skills that will boost the UK’s productivity growth and the outlook for living standards.”

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