Professional services is frequently overlooked
As the independent voice of professional services to Government, the Forum has observed a material gap between the actual and perceived size and impact of the UK’s largest sector – professional services - and its multiplier effect on the economy and exports. As a result, the sector is frequently overlooked in policy making, and there is often a lack of recognition and goodwill towards an admittedly complex sector.
Historically, the sector was happy to serve its clients, train young professionals and pay its share of taxes in relative obscurity. However, in the light of clear evidence from Birmingham Business School et al that the sector is far more exposed to a hard Brexit than financial services, the Forum believes that it is no longer appropriate for the UK’s largest and arguably most successful sector to be overlooked.
Setting the record straight
The Forum aims to set the record straight by enhancing the profile and reputation of the sector and making it a more attractive proposition for policymakers, businesses and individuals. We will be highlighting the vital contribution of the sector in three critical areas:
- UK Economy: Communications consultancy Man Bites Dog has been appointed to coordinate a long-term communication and thought leadership strand, centred on rigorous analysis and economic modelling, to shine a spotlight on the sector’s true size and impact.
- Local Communities: The Forum’s Productivity & Government Liaison Club, in partnership with ‘Be the Business’, is at the heart of the Local Communities strand. The Club brings together senior management of mid-market organisations from every sector across the UK to enjoy direct access to Government and explore ways to boost corporate and national productivity, with a secure collaboration hub and meetings hosted by local offices of professional firms and large banks.
- Public Life: Following the ‘Professions for Good’ campaigns of 2010/12, the Professional Associations Research Network (PARN) is developing a project on Promoting Professionalism that is likely to lead to a follow-up campaign in 2018/19 that highlights the contribution of all professions to trust in society and raising the quality of public life. Specific contributions to public life will include subjects such as volunteering, social mobility, ethics, access to justice. General contributions to public life are founded on the role of professional bodies and others in developing, maintaining and regulating standards of practice to support the exercise of technical and ethical competence in all activities of professionals, including professional services delivery.