British managers are confident about their ability to recover from the economic downturn but need the government to offer them tax breaks to develop the skills of their workforce.

That is according to research carried out by Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which revealed that some 85 per cent of British managers believed tax breaks would help them invest in the skills base of their workers.

Commenting on the importance of government support for businesses, Lord John Eatwell, chief economist at the CMI, said: "Business managers are convinced that a skilled workforce will be an integral part of the recovery process, and are recommending that, especially in these difficult times, government should provide further financial support for skills development and training."

Lord Eatwell suggested that such support would help the UK to emerge from the recession in a position of strength.

He implied that managers’ optimistic outlook should be "cherished" and encouraged through government support.

A recent survey conducted by KPMG found that 43 per cent of students valued training above job security when searching for employment.