IAB Group Manifesto 2024 – Placing Education at the Heart of Finance



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As we approach the coming General Election, there will be much talk about how to sort out the economy, immigration, cost of living and housing.

The IAB is an Awarding Body with one eye firmly on the future and we feel that education must take centre stage. Alongside its sister organisations, which together form the IAB Group, we are collectively promoting a vision where education is directly connected to skills.

This has a two-fold benefit; primarily enhancing the students career opportunities and earning potential. Secondly, we aim to support employers by tackling the chronic skills shortage in the labour market.

In a post Covid world, attitudes and technology such as AI are driving fast-paced change. Educational bodies need to adapt to the new landscape as demand for traditional academic learning is falling at an alarming rate and the current vocational training programmes seemingly have not successfully replaced the original apprenticeships.

The IAB Group believes in lifelong learning and has aligned itself with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education.

With all this in mind, these are the four key measures we would like to see implemented by any new incoming administration.


  1. The Introduction of Micro Credentials in the Higher Education sector.

Micro credentials are a form of certification that demonstrate mastery or competence in specific skills or knowledge areas. Unlike traditional degrees which cover broad fields of study over several years, micro-credentials focus on narrower, more targeted areas and can often be earned in a much shorter time. They are typically awarded by educational institutions, professional organisations or online platforms.

They would not normally constitute an award in their own right, but they have standalone value and can also contribute to a recognised qualification. They also widen access to learners who might not have considered a more traditional approach to achieving a qualification, as well as potentially assisting with meeting skills needs for employers and learners.

There are benefits for everyone. Employers see it as an affordable investment in upskilling and retaining staff – which is particularly important in an ever-changing business environment. Meanwhile employees are paid to learn and can build a degree/ diploma etc over time. As well as acquiring up-to-date and relevant industry-specific skills.


  1. More emphasis on ESG in the finance sector

At Cop27 it was announced that International Reporting Standards would be mandated across the globe. This requires companies to report their ESG data in a unified format within their financial accounts thereby allowing companies to be comparable and held accountable. This now means that finance professionals will be leading the conversation around sustainability and therefore offers a range of opportunities to grow their careers and practices..

Demand for the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) Qualification continues to grow internationally but the UK is lagging behind therefore we would like to see more awareness of the importance of this duty communicated.


  1. Raising Standards in the Tax Advice Market

The IAB advocates and supports the Raising Standards in the Tax Advice Market

consultation: strengthening the regulatory framework and improving registration.

At a time when HMRC is leaning heavily on the finance sector to promote and implement the Government’s move to digitalisation it would seem prudent that bookkeepers, advisers and accountants providing ‘enabling’ services which are important for enterprise, business and government should be dependably professional and properly qualified.

Currently this is not the case; there is no effective register, professional standards are varied and opportunities for bad or incompetent practice are apparent.


  1. Better financial literacy at schools.

Too few students leave with the necessary knowledge to run a basic household budget, let alone a small business. We have recently been running a free online workshop across libraries in Kent called “Managing your Finances” where concepts such as how to read your payslip and understanding your Household Budget are taught.

We advocate that these basic financial skills should be included in the National Curriculum in all secondary schools.

Sarah Palmer, CEO of the IAB, says: “This General Election is a good time for the country to take stock of what is happening with the economy and to look ahead at the next five years.

“The IAB has always been passionate about supporting and educating our members. We are also looking to the future and recognise that we need to support both those entering the workplace and those already into their careers with the type of high quality training and qualifications they need to compete in what is an ever-changing marketplace.”




























IAB首席执行官Sarah Palmer表示:“这次大选是国家评估经济状况并展望未来五年的好时机。