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Government productivity plan lacks focus

The government’s productivity plan has been described as a “vague collection of existing policies” by the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)Committee.

The committee has questioned whether the plan has enough focus and said that results will not be guaranteed in areas such as skills and education. Plans to increase apprenticeships to 3 million by 2020 were also criticised. The committee said the plan lacked detail on protection, consultation and training for both apprentices and businesses.

Dr Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said: “A strategy is only good if it results in real-world outcomes, and the government’s productivity plan is no exception. The BIS Committee is right to press for a clearer timetable to address the deep-rooted structural problems that hold our economy back. Skills shortages, infrastructure bottlenecks and limited growth finance have long constrained investment and dampened productivity.”

Raising productivity

The productivity plan focuses on 2 areas – encouraging long-term investment and promoting a dynamic economy. The government has outlined 15 core strategies that will aim to improve productivity, including:

  • a competitive tax system
  • rewards for saving and long-term investment
  • highly skilled workforce
  • access to higher education
  • modern transport.

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