Osborne urged to focus on productivity 2014 budget

Human resources professional body CIPD has urged the chancellor to focus on productivity when he delivers the Budget in March.

This follows a report which showed the UK productivity gap is the widest it has been in 20 years. Office for National Statistics figures show productivity in the UK is 21% lower than the average for the other six members of the G7 – the US, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada.

The organisation has put together three calls to the government:

·         A fundamental review of UK skills policy

·         Allocating £50m to the National Careers Service to boost their work with schools and to improve the labour market prospects of the UK’s young people by helping to bridge the gap between education and work

·         Review whether an increase in the employer National Insurance Contributions threshold from £148 to £220 a week or more could encourage employers to increase the hours of some existing staff.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive at the CIPD, said: “The UK economy has finally started to grow solidly again but the deepest recession for decades has exposed critical underlying issues in our competitiveness and utilisation of skills. It’s important that government, key policy makers and businesses come together to work on improving the UK’s productivity, where poor relative performance predates this financial crisis.”

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