Business confidence soars ahead of the “Bonus” Budget

Eighty-four per cent of businesses believe that growing exports will be a key barometer of economic success for the new government so it will be interesting to see how policy makers handle this issue, whatever the result.

Talent shortages

Anecdotal evidence we?ve received from our clients has indicated that there is a deepening shortage of skilled individuals who can satisfy the increasing the demands of the country?s growing technology sector. Our survey supports this with only 45 per cent of businesses believing there to be an adequate talent pool.

This is a worrying result, considering 64 per cent of the businesses surveyed are planning to increase headcount in the next quarter. 

The stress on the available talent pool can?t be ignored; businesses must train more people and upskill their existing workforces as capacity remains tight. 

We?re increasingly hearing of talent moving to countries such as the US where the marketplace is perceived to be more attractive and so it would be highly beneficial if action was taken to retain, and encourage, highly-skilled individuals to remain in the UK. 

Tax incentives to encourage the further training of employees would be welcome. These incentives could, for example, take the form of a repayable tax credit to businesses, where tax relief is paid to businesses as costs on training are incurred. This could be a small incentive to begin addressing this issue.

Tim Adams is a director and founding member of the technology group at Smith & Williamson.

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