Upcoming productivity figures: can Britain catch up?
The Open University advises that apprenticeships must be aligned to skills gaps in order to boost productivity
The UK’s poor productivity record is set for another day of reckoning on Thursday. The International Comparison of Productivity, which last year revealed an 18 per cent deficit between the UK and its G7 counterparts, will again indicate how the UK now stands globally.
Attention must turn to the UK’s efforts to catch up. A key part of the government’s productivity boosting plan, the apprenticeship levy, is due to be launched in April 2017. Businesses need to understand how to get the most out of the levy, says The Open University.
Steve Hill, External Engagement Director at The Open University, comments: “We know that for the economy as a whole, investment in skills has been responsible for around a twenty per cent increase in productivity growth. It’s also believed that current under investment in skills is at least partly to blame for sluggish output. Clearly, efforts to increase the quantity and quality of work-based training will play a big part in boosting the nation’s productivity.
“Yet work-based programmes such as apprenticeships must link directly to the skills gaps faced by UK businesses. If courses are not tailored in this way, the investment by the government and by individual organisations will not achieve full returns. The opportunity is vast, but must be seized correctly.”