Business group calls for AI training for new skills to be made tax deductible

06 Nov 2023

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for artificial intelligence (AI) training for new skills to be made tax deductible for small firms.

Research carried out by the FSB found that whilst 20% of firms currently use AI, an additional 29% are reluctant to utilise the technology because they feel ill-equipped to do so.

It also revealed that 27% of firms who currently use AI plan to invest in additional training for employees. An additional 43% stated they plan to take a course to improve their AI knowledge over the next two years.

The FSB is calling on the government to make training for new skills tax deductible for small firms and the self-employed in order to help 'kickstart a new era of skills development in AI'.

Commenting on the issue, Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB, said: 'AI has the ability to streamline administrative processes and bring a host of business benefits. Indeed, our research shows small firms are excited about its potential.

'However, as AI technologies advance at a rapid clip, some remain hesitant to join the digital wave because they are limited by a lack of relevant skills.

'The tax framework in place does little to spur the reskilling and upskilling essential for technological adoption. Allowing tax deductions for the self-employed in a wider array of training – such in AI – can help people adapt.'