The lives and livelihoods of everyone living in the UK are intrinsically tied to the long-term health of its economy, both domestically and in international markets. But we face serious challenges.
This content series examines economic issues that UK business and chartered accountants are at the centre of tackling to build a better, more resilient future.
Engaging with international markets
The UK economy cannot solve any of its pressing issues without fully participating in international markets or partnering with organisations across the globe.
Part one: Navigating a changing world of trade
International trade and strong supply chains are a cornerstone of economic growth and opportunity. Here, we examine the key challenges UK businesses face when trading internationally, while the next article considers possible solutions.
Part two: How to reinvigorate the UK’s international trade performance
The UK’s international trade activity is falling behind that of its economic peers. Here, we examine what changes are needed from policymakers and business to close that gap and why chartered accountants are so well-placed to help them.
International trade: How Ramsden International reinvented its business model after Brexit
International grocery wholesaler Ramsden International endured a torrid couple of years in the wake of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. However, long-term planning investing in people and expert advice have helped it come through the other side.
Making the most of international markets: From the glens to graphene
Engaging with international markets brings many benefits but more UK companies should take the plunge. Two very different firms show how buying and selling overseas can make organisations more successful and resilient.
Building a workforce of the future
The number one concern of many businesses up and down the UK is having access to the right skills. The are no quick fixes but any solution requires long-term policies that enable businesses, educators and policymakers to collaborate and build a workforce together.
Part one: The UK’s skills gap and what’s gone wrong
For a generation, a shortage of skills has undermined business confidence, investment, and productivity across the UK, and so limited economic growth and left us more exposed to inflation shocks. Here, we look at what’s causing this shortage and, in the next article, ideas for addressing it.
Part two: How to close the UK’s skills gap
Addressing the UK’s labour supply and skills gap is no easy task, but policymakers, business, and the chartered accountants that advise them have a key role to play.
Closing the UK’s skills gap: Denim, data and developing skills
Having the right people available for the right jobs in the right place is one of the key foundations of a healthy and resilient economy, and one that’s often eluded the UK. Two companies provide lessons for how we can start to address this.
Employee engagement and productivity: Cooper Parry
Accountancy firm and ICAEW member Cooper Parry has long taken an innovative approach to staff well-being and happiness. But in the post-pandemic world, things like flexible and remote working no longer made it stand out, so it’s updating its employee offer.
Renewing economic growth
Poor productivity has held back the UK economy for decades. Settled policies that encourage investment by well-managed companies to generate sustainable long-term growth will address this and greatly benefit the communities in which those companies are based.
Part one: Understanding the UK’s productivity problem
Poor productivity has upset many UK economic success stories across the past half century. There’s no smoking gun or obvious culprit but rather a number of complex reasons.
Part two: Tackling the UK’s productivity problem
The UK’s persistently poor productivity must be tackled to renew economic growth and raise living standards. Businesses and accountants have a core role in that endeavour.
Starting a new chapter: Paragraf’s concerns over scaling up
The Cambridgeshire-based tech firm should be in the vanguard of UK economic success, but getting to a scale that will make a real difference to the economy is harder than it should be.
A recipe for growth: Investing for a more productive economy
Long-term investment to build profitable businesses is a crucial part of boosting productivity. A thriving food and drink sector in Leeds is showing the way forward.
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ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM)
One of the largest and most comprehensive quarterly surveys of business conditions and the health of the UK economy.Find out more
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