Occupational Hazard – How UK licensing laws harm employment

Britain takes a uniquely restrictive approach to occupational licensing.

Around one in five UK employees requires a licence from government to practice their chosen occupation – a proportion which has doubled in the last fifteen years.

Len Shackleton, IEA editorial fellow and author of a recent report into occupational licensing, sat down with us this week to discuss the current situation.

He examines whether the government’s approach is necessary or desirable – particularly in a world of technological change, with algorithms, robotics and artificial intelligence increasingly able to perform some of the functions of the established professions.

He also takes a look at the wider state of employment and education in the UK, and assesses how Britain’s approach compares with other countries around the world.

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