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AECOM: Budget does not tackle productivity gap

AECOM, the integrated infrastructure company working on Hs2 and Crossrail, challenged the government to do more to “to address the productivity gap and secure long-term prosperity”.

AECOM UK head of government and public John Hicks said: “The chancellor said Britain was ‘walking tall again’. I would urge Britain to mind the gaps – in productivity, of skills and of spending.”

“In what was essentially a pre-election budget, it is perhaps not surprising that there are few targeted measures to create longer-term recovery. An emerging awareness of the UK’s productivity gap has the real potential to stifle continued growth; a low-cost economy alone is not sufficient,” he added.

Hicks said that while the chancellor acknowledged “London and the Northern Hub as powerhouses for the UK’s sustained recovery, the budget does not go far enough.”

He added: “We urge the government to encourage UK businesses to lead on delivering UK infrastructure projects, equipping them to take advantage of the huge export potential around the world. Ring-fencing delivery plans to speed skills development and mapping required skills against the planned pipeline of projects would enable UK business to better compete on the global stage. Otherwise British firms may lose out to international consortia and be reduced to taking tier-two roles.”

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