Small businesses the backbone of economy

THE Federation of Small Businesses in Hertfordshire believes small firms remain the backbone of the economy and are ready to do their bit to help get people back into work and get the country back into recovery. The Federation (FSB) says small businesses

THE Federation of Small Businesses in Hertfordshire believes small firms remain the backbone of the economy and are ready to do their bit to help get people back into work and get the country back into recovery.

The Federation (FSB) says small businesses are also vital to tackling graduate and youth unemployment during the recession, it is telling the Government.

Youth unemployment has reached nearly 950,000 in the UK and graduates and school leavers are entering the job market at one of the worst times since 1992.

The FSB believes the Government must ensure small businesses are given the tools they need to take on more graduate interns and apprentices to tackle youth unemployment and bring the economy out of recession.


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The FSB says another 5,000 placements in work could be created with the investment of �3m of an existing �32m pot of money to help promote and extend graduate internships and an overhaul of apprenticeships, including an increase in the national minimum wage for apprentices from �95 to �123 a week.

There is also a call for the re-introduction of the 1990s Enterprise Allowance Scheme to give those with entrepreneurial skills who have been made unemployed the chance to become self-employed and help create anther 36,000 jobs.

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Another area the FSB wants changing is the introduction of a wage subsidy for workers who have had their hours cut to avoid redundancies enabling employers to retain their staff and skills sets.

FSB Beds, Herts and Cambs regional organiser Damian Cummins said: "Graduates and school leavers are entering the job market in turbulent times, yet these men and women are crucial to the future of our economy.

"Seven in 10 of all apprenticeships already happen in small businesses and around 20 per cent would take a graduate intern.

"Investing money in these areas will not only help small firms grow at a difficult time, but will ensure that future workers and entrepreneurs are equipped with the skills they need."

Mr Cummins added: "Self-employment must also be a real option for those who have lost their jobs. Re-introducing the enterprise allowance scheme could create an extra 36,000 jobs over the next year.

"Research shows that small firms grow faster than larger businesses, creating more unemployment opportunities for the future.

"Small firms truly are the backbone of our economy and are ready to do their bit to help stimulate the economy, get people back into work and get the country back into recovery.

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