The U.K.’s Chartered Insurance Institute is preparing a study, which it will present to the Government, advocating modifications in its system of tax relief and improvement in communications to provide greater incentives for workers in the insurance and financial services sectors to study for professional exams.
The CII prepared the report as a response to a discussion paper from the Treasury on tax incentives for professional development. The organization said it would urge the Blair government to adopt a scheme that will create an incentive for membership bodies to provide workforce development. The CII specifically noted the following:
— We strongly support any change that will encourage more members to want to improve their skills and knowledge
— Government must provide greater encouragement for employers to support their employees wishing to develop their professional skills and knowledge
— Any new system of tax relief must not be an administrative burden on organisations providing professional development and training
— Members must be made aware of their eligibility for tax relief under a new system; otherwise large numbers will not claim their entitlement.
Commenting on the issues, Dr. Sandy Scott, Director General of the CII, stated: “Over recent years, the CII has extended the benefits of membership to thousands of workers – from call centre staff right up to senior managers. But we can’t stand still while other markets and other economies get their acts together. The Government is right to seek ways of providing greater incentives for professional development and the CII supports them wholly in that goal. However, the main note of caution we sound is that any new incentives must not create masses of red tape that will hinder rather than help.”
According to CII figures 73 per cent of employers in the financial services sector pay member subscriptions for some of their employees.
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