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Blog Post By Brendan Perring

The temperature rises for society and the economy

As I sit writing this the Indian summer is beating down on our shores and the temperature in the office has climbed to a sweltering 32 degrees.

The weather is not the only heated facet of the UK landscape however, as shown by the violence and bedlam that spilled out onto its streets last month. This was mostly carried out by a criminalised youth that have never had a job and are unlikely, now more than ever, to have the chance of one in the future.

It is this very subject that caused such a stir at the end of September, as Ed Miliband gave a speech to the Labour Party conference about his vision for the UK: “All major Government contracts will go to firms who commit to training the next generation with decent apprenticeships.”

This statement did not meet with enthusiasm from industry, as Janet Jones from the Federation of Small Businesses’ told the Western Mail: “The suggestion [...] betrays a lack of understanding of how jobs are created in the real world.

“Small-businesses already struggle to win public sector contracts, and insisting that they must offer an apprenticeship will mean they miss out on more.

“Until firms win more business, they will not have the confidence to take on more staff.”

Jones assessment is one I share, unless Government can stump up the cold hard cash to contribute towards an apprentices wages, then the majority of sign-makers will not be able to take one on.

Miliband went onto warn of the growth in foreign competition and relying on the financial industry: “We can’t pay our way as a country unless we invent things, make things and sell real services and products. […] Growth is built on sand if it comes from the predators and not our producers.”

This argument is one I agree with whole heartedly. It is industries like ours that will lead the economic fight back, a point which Government needs to simply understand and act upon.

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