Businesses need tax and trade skills for growth

Businesses believe that they will need skills in finance, trade, and taxation to help them navigate business growth over the next 20 years.

According to the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer, 83% of businesses expect the next 20 years to be more challenging than the last two decades which included the 2008 financial crisis, recession, Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to support business growth over the next 20 years, the survey of 600 businesses found that 44% of businesses felt that the government’s provision for providing greater access to more vocational-based learning will help mitigate challenges but more needed to be done.

Half of respondents said that the government needed to introduce more business friendly, ‘favourable taxation’ policies on sustainable practice to encourage businesses to take the net-zero pledge.

The other priority for 48% of businesses was new trade agreements with major trading partners to address post Brexit trade gaps.

On the skills shortage, businesses said that they would need to look into hiring workers with skills in finance, trade, and tax compliance.

The survey also found that 20% believed that online purchasing and increased demand for instant products and services will be the biggest change to consumer behaviour over the next 20 years which businesses believe will force them to be more ‘creative and innovative’ in order to adapt.

To help this adjustment, one in 10 businesses stated that the need to keep up with technological developments is one of their biggest challenges in the next two to three years. However, the survey found that 38% of businesses reported that advances in technology have had ‘the biggest positive impact’ on their business in the last 20 years.

Paul Gordon, managing director for SME and mid corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: ‘Perhaps it is not unsurprising that having faced a quite unprecedented period of late and enormous change over the last 20 years, the majority of business leaders feel the next 20 years will be more challenging. To help them through this, businesses are looking for support on skills, finance, trade, and taxation to navigate in this environment.’

Looking forward, over a third, 36%, of companies highlighted that developing new products and services is a major priority for growth with 30% stated that increasing their online sales was their main ambition.


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