BDO reacts to The Queen’s speech

11 May 2021

Ed Dwan, partner and head of BDO in the North West:  

“Today’s speech showed the Government is keen to continue the narrative around levelling up with new legislation announced as a statement of intent to deliver against these ambitions. Our recent survey of 500 mid-sized businesses revealed that more than half (58%) believe the Government will deliver on levelling up in their region because of the pandemic and that 45% feel it would have happened anyway.

“Interestingly, education and skills are a key focus in this year’s legislation announcements which is likely to resonate with business leaders who are looking to create jobs and upskill their workforce. More than a fifth (21%) of mid-sized businesses plan to prioritise investment in training and skills for their employees in the next six months.

“The Skills Bill plans to encourage local employers to join forces with further education colleges to deliver skills accelerator programmes will make universities and colleges accessible to people who want to study part-time while they are working. This comes in addition to the Government’s £3k apprenticeship incentive announced in the Chancellor’s Budget, BDO’s research showed that 70% of mid-sized businesses plan to hire apprentices in the next six months, with 36% stating that their investment comes as a direct result of the incentive.

We are hopeful that the fact that many businesses are planning to introduce some form of remote working in the long-term, will give a boost to local economies across the country. This kind of thinking could prevent the historic talent drain from areas such as the North West and the Midlands to London and other global cities, and boost productivity as regions outside of London and the South East create more, better quality jobs for the future.”