The FCSA welcomes a budget that is focused on UK investment, but it appears to be short on detail. Whilst the Chancellor states that there will be 50,000 more nurses, 180,000 more homes and a major prison building programme amounting to £3.8 billion, our sector is focused on providing the essential skills to enable this programme. There appeared to be little in terms of detail as to how we and other sectors can be supported in providing the labour required to realise such ambitious plans.
The Chancellor announced a new and accessible visa system to encourage international high skills to join the UK economy but made no mention of any changes to the draconian systems that have come into place since we left the European Union. Many highly skilled workers that operated through compliant umbrella and accountancy firms have left our economy and current rules discourage them from returning.
Of course, the FCSA welcomes an increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 but it is important that the end portion of labour supply chains are not the only ones to take on the extra burden in this increase. For a healthy and sustainable supply chain to continue to improve the UK economy there must be a recognition that increases in such costs are shared whilst at the same time improving the livelihoods of workers.
The FCSA observes a lack of any form of notice around the further protection of workers and regulation of the outsourced sector. Clearly, the FCSA will need to look at the spending review in more detail. But if this is the case then the Chancellor has missed an opportunity to at least publicly state his and the governments support for future legislation or investment in government enforcement activities in our sector which FCSA has been campaigning for over many years.