Following Philip Hammond’s first spring Budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Miles Celic, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, commented:
The Chancellor has set a sensible, straight forward budget to build firm foundations for the country over the coming years.
The UK is home to the world’s leading international financial centre, powered by a nationwide industry employing 2.2 million people, two thirds of whom are based outside London. The commitment to infrastructure investment in the Midlands and the pending strategy for the Midlands Engine will help further develop what is already an important regional financial centre. Birmingham is the country’s third largest financial centre in terms of jobs, with the likes of Northampton and Nottingham also having well developed financial and related professional services industries. Collectively, 219,000 people work in financial and related professional services in the Midlands, contributing over £13.2bn to UK GVA.
The Chancellor’s commitment to investing in and enhancing the UK’s skills base and improving productivity is very welcome. As one of the UK’s most productive industries, financial and related professional services needs highly skilled people to maintain its international competitiveness. While it is vital that the industry is able to continue to attract and retain talent from overseas, it is equally important that the right infrastructure is in place here in the UK to ensure a strong pipeline of home-grown talent with next-generation skills.
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