The UK faces a shortfall of 10,200 qualified accountants by 2050, due to skills shortages, an ageing workforce and restrictive migration policy, according to Randstad Finance and Professional, the specialist recruiter.
The UK workforce as a whole will have a deficit of 3.1m by 2050, a figure which represents 9% of the required workforce. Using employment rates from the most recent European population analysis from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, as a measure of demand, Randstad analysed the projected changes in UK population and working age rate for 2050 to establish the gap between employment demand and workforce supply.
The analysis showed that with a population of 74.5m, in 2050 the UK will require a workforce of 35.4m to meet demand. However, with a pool of just 45.1m people (60.5% of the population) forecast to the eligible to work in 2050, even if the employment rate matches pre-downturn levels of 71.6%, an ageing population will leave the UK with only 32.3m people in employment – 3.1m short of the 35.4m required to meet demand.
Despite the shortfall, the accountancy and finance sector is set to fare better than others. Qualified accountants represent 0.3% of the entire UK workforce, assuming this proportion remains constant, by 2050, the UK will have a deficit of 10,200 accountants. The education sector faces the biggest shortfall with the prospect of a deficit of 128,000 teachers by 2050.
Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad Financial and Professional, said: “If the UK economy is to grow and overcome the difficulties of the last few years then it requires a strong workforce capable of meeting demand. Our projections are conservative but they still portray a worrying scenario for the country over the coming decades. With an ageing population, we need to ensure we are open for business and welcoming talent from around the world to bolster our workforce. Unfortunately, with a stagnant economy and crippling work related migration policy, the UK represents a much less attractive option for both domestic and overseas talent.”