BIFM response to the Autumn Budget 2017
22-11-17 16:40 BIFM
BIFM paid close attention to the Chancellor’s budget announcement earlier today, 22 November. Several relevant announcements were made that are of interest to the industry. Below you can find BIFM’s initial comments on three key announcements of relevance to the industry. A more in-depth report will be made available to the members in the next few days.
Linda Hausmanis, Chief Executive Officer at the British Institute for Facilities Management (BIFM), said:
Call for further progress on the Apprenticeship Levy
“The Chancellor has today rightly emphasised the importance of skills and training to improve productivity in the UK. However, Westminster needs to recognise failings within the existing system to increase standards, especially in relation to the Apprenticeship Levy and a lack of concrete proposals for life-long learning.
“In its current form, the Levy is failing to deliver FM apprenticeships due to complex, lengthy decision making and a focus on process, not outcomes. Unrealistic funding band decisions are preventing FM apprenticeships from being approved, delaying organisations from drawing down investment for such apprenticeships, frustrating efforts to provide essential training and in turn, further exacerbating skills gaps.”
£500m investment in high-tech initiatives
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today that £500m will be invested in a range of high-tech initiatives, including artificial intelligence and better connectivity, which could contribute to closing the skills gap and maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader in the FM field.
“However, it’s critical the Government gives people and companies the tools and skills needed to adapt to a changing workplace – which means bringing forward investment in life-long learning and upskilling in a meaningful way. It’s important the fourth industrial revolution doesn’t leave anyone behind, so we want to see investment in skills and training that ensure the benefits of new technology are felt across society and don’t contribute to driving up unemployment and creating division.”
Increases to the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage from April 2018
“We’re pleased to see an increase to the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. It is only right that people are paid a fair wage for a day’s work and as an institute we’re promoting this by being an accredited Living Wage employer. At the same time, we must acknowledge that pay increases are a challenge for some of our members who are already having to deal with many other economic and administrative challenges. BIFM will support our members with guidance to enable them to adjust to the new rates where needed and we will provide further support for those who want to go beyond statutory pay.
“We need to continue to make the case for fair wages, and help FM suppliers better demonstrate to their clients the crucial link between higher rates of pay and improved service delivery and performance. Clients all over the country, both private and public, also have to play their part by ensuring that social value is put firmly at the heart of procurement, rather than cost reductions being the only driver.”
A full summary of the Autumn Budget 2017 will be provided to BIFM members in the coming days.