Six month countdown: Policy stability needed to boost post-Brexit productivity

  • CMI calls for government to focus more effort on supporting businesses with policies designed to increase skills and productivity
  • UK needs to invest in home-grown managers to boost productivity post-Brexit
  • 82% of managers having difficulty hiring new leaders

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is today calling for government to commit to the policies they’ve already put in place, to support the business skills and productivity for UK competitiveness at their ABCs of Brexit event.

The mere prospect of Brexit has already had a negative impact on business across the UK: with 1 in 4 managers possessing concerns for job security and businesses needing greater transparency on how they will be able to operate with European trading partners. With March 2019 looming, government needs to take action to create a sense of certainty, upskill managers and create a globally competitive and progressive UK workforce in six months' time.

CMI research has demonstrated that managers in the UK are already concerned about talent shortages: with 78% of managers struggling to recruit skilled new talent and 82% having difficulty hiring new leaders. However Brexit will only amplify this situation with an estimated 150,000 senior managers being affected by decisions around free movement of workers post Brexit.

With poor people management playing a critical role in the UK’s productivity gap and an estimated cost to the UK economy £84bn a year, CMI believe that Government needs to focus on fixing key policies to help make UK business more productive and therefore more competitive in a post Brexit world.

We have seen that businesses are frustrated and downbeat about Brexit and the way it has been managed – it’s been a textbook case of how NOT to do it! Conflict and dissent should have been dealt with much earlier, with far greater forward practical planning and input from key stakeholders across business and the public sector. Now we are backing into a corner with time and options running out. We urgently need to turn our attention to policies that will actually help managers and leaders to cope. Investing in upskilling the managerial and digital capabilities of the workforce through opportunities such as the Apprenticeship Levy, improving the diversity of organisations and encouraging employability skills for young people are more important than ever if Britain is to survive and thrive in these turbulent times.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute

I’m looking forward to speaking at the CMI’s ‘ABCs of Brexit’ event. Business communities are facing a great deal of uncertainty – and need answers on the practical questions arising from Brexit. BCC and many of its partners, including CMI, have been calling on the government to provide urgent precision and clarity to allow firms to plan with confidence.

That said, the best Brexit deal in the world won’t solve the UK’s productivity puzzle. For the UK to remain competitive and prosperous we need a much greater focus on the domestic issues that hold us back – starting with the training and skills gaps that both BCC and CMI have long been working to overcome.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

For more information about CMI’s Future Forecast research, visit:

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Notes to editors

*Calculation based on data from ONS (2016). There are 3.486 million managers, directors or senior officials in the UK. ONS estimate 4% of these are from EU countries.

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About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers' skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance. We have been registered as an apprentice assessment organisation by the Skills Funding Agency.

CMI has led the way in developing a suite of trailblazing management apprenticeships with a 40-strong group of employers. These start from Level 3 (team leader) and Level 5 (operations manager) through to Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship gives employers the option to upskill up to executive and C-suite level. CMI is a Skills Funding Agency-registered apprentice assessment organisation.

We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support that helps them to embrace change, create high-performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

With a member community of more than 157,000 managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers to build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.