Category Archives: Economics
‘Child poverty costs Birmingham £1 billion a year’ – Birmingham Mail article on Child Poverty in Birmingham
Last Friday I visited Re.Source Central foodbank in Ladywood with Cllr John Cotton and Cllr Tim Evans. The visit was a part of the Birmingham Labour Party’s review into Child Poverty in the city.
The Birmingham Mail have written an article highlighting the issue:
Child poverty costs Birmingham £1 billion a year
MP Liam Byrne warns a third of youngsters in city are growing up on breadline
Extra services for Birmingham children growing up in poverty are costing £1 billion a year, an MP has warned.
Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) and Labour councillors have launched an inquiry into child poverty in the city.
A third of young Brummies are now growing up on the breadline with the figure rising to almost half in some wards.
The worrying figures come just weeks after the Mail reported how the city’s police and crime commissioner Bob Jones had warned that parents were being forced to steal food so their children can eat.
West Midlands Police has seen a big rise in the number of shoplifting offences – last year saw 29,104 in the West Midlands – a rise of 11 per cent.
Officially, Ministers claim they have no figures showing the number of children in poverty in towns and cities.
But a study by campaigners Child Poverty Action Group estimates that 84,114 children in Birmingham and are poverty, or 31 per cent of the total.
And this costs the city £914 million a year in extra services such as education, healthcare and benefits, as well as lost tax receipts and lost earnings, according to the campaign group.
Mr Byrne had asked ministers for official figures, was told they were not available.
The MP said: “It’s patently clear that the government simply doesn’t give a stuff about Birmingham’s youngsters, so we’re going to have to take action ourselves.”
Coun John Cotton, Labour’s Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion & Equalities said: “Birmingham’s Labour-led Council is already working hard to pick up the pieces by supporting families hit hard by Government cuts and the unfair Bedroom Tax.”
The Government says it has taken a series of measures to cut child poverty including investing an additional £200 million in childcare, making it easier for parents to work, channelling £2.5 billion to schools teaching low-income pupils, providing free school meals for all infant school children from September 2014, cutting tax for 25 million people by increasing the personal tax allowance and cutting income tax for those on the minimum wage by two thirds.
Ministers have launched a consultation on what more can be done to cut child poverty.
It follows the Birmingham Mail’s recent Brum on the Breadline investigation which uncovered demand for food parcels at some city food banks had rocketed by almost 50 per cent in a year.
And new figures from Christian charity the Trussell Trust which runs the Birmingham Central Foodbank have revealed a huge rise in the numbers seeking help.
In the 12 months from April 2009 to March 2010 just 4,064 people were given three days emergency food in the West Midlands. In the eight months from April to December last year, the number was 66,066.
THE MAIL SAYS
How scandalous that in, our relatively prosperous city, so many children are enduring grinding poverty.
The recent years of economic struggle, of course, are a major cause of the hardship faced by so many families.
But though things are looking brighter for many, those at the bottom of the pile are still battling to make ends meet.
The public sector faces a vast bill to pick up the pieces.
But the cost to the individuals themselves is beyond calculation.
Those born into poverty are likely to struggle to break the vicious circle that ensnares them.
Politicians, civil servants and business must find a way to help lift this burden.
Read the article here: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/child-poverty-costs-birmingham-1-6794221
‘The Future of Work and The Earn While You Learn Revolution’ my speech to the Work Foundation – 3 March 2014
The Future of Work and The Earn While You Learn Revolution
Speech to Work Foundation
Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Monday 3rd March 2014
It’s a huge pleasure to kick off National Apprenticeship Week with a keynote speech to welcome your report on the future of work.
For us in the Labour party, this is an important week in an important year.
We’re hugely proud of our record rescuing the apprenticeship system from the state in which we found it.
We’re very proud of the work of the National Apprenticeship Service, which we created.
And we’re proud of National Apprenticeship Week, which we began.
This week is a chance for all of us to celebrate the extraordinary job of our apprentices – and former apprentices – like Sarish Jabeen in my Hodge Hill team serving my constituents with such skill and commitment week in, week out.
This week is a chance for us all to say that we’re determined to do more to support apprentices, like Sarish, in the years to come.
And that’s what I’ve come here to say this morning.
Our starting point
Now, I am very glad that you’ve called your conference the future of work.
I’m glad because this year we celebrate a very important anniversary in the history of our party.
It’s the 70th anniversary of the famous white paper on full employment.
It was seventy years ago this year that Ernie Bevin stood up in the Commons to present that famous paper, replete with its famous first paragraph that henceforth:
“The government accept as one of their primary aims and responsibilities the maintenance of a high and stable level of employment after the war”.
The Labour party has is and always will be the party of work. We believe work is fundamental to your flourishing as an individual; we believe in the transformative power of the pride and dignity of a job.
And that is why we are determined to put jobs at the heart of our manifesto for 2015.
The government would like you to believe that everything in the labour market is rosy.
There’s a lot more jobs to go round they say.
Well, look: as someone who started work behind a fry station in McDonalds, I believe that any job is better than no job.
But I know too that a good job is better than a bad one, and right now, there aren’t enough good jobs to go round.
It was Ronald Reagan who said; ‘it’s true that hard work didn’t kill anyone but I figure why take the chance’.
The president was of course being charming.
But the truth is that the lack of good jobs today, means that it is harder than ever to make a living by working hard.
- Nearly 80pc of the jobs created since the election are in low skilled sectors.
- Average earnings are now £1,600 lower per year than they were at the last election.
- The average family has to work two hours extra each week, just to make what they did four years ago.
- The great wage crash is now almost proving as damaging to workers’ livelihoods as the global financial crisis caused by the banks.
I think it should be pretty clear that this is not the kind of country we want to live in.
A low pay, low skilled, low value added economy, out-paced and out-boxed by new powers, rising around the world and old nations who, unlike us, have got their act together.
We can’t go on like this. We have to change course. And this morning I want to sketch out how.
The Future of Work
Let me start with where you start; the future of work.
It’s no secret that there are some big forces at play.
Technology has now automated huge numbers of what were once, reasonably skilled, reasonably paid jobs. And sometimes it feels like what technology hasn’t killed, trade has moved to those parts of the world where workers are cheaper.
In America, economists Autor & Dorn are amongst many who’ve reported:
there’s been massive substitution of those ‘low skill workers performing routine tasks – such as book-keeping, clerical work and repetitive production and monitoring activities – which are readily computerized because they follow precise, well-defined procedures’.
It’s created what some call the hour-glass; high skill jobs, and low skill jobs and very little in between.
This is exactly what is happening here in the UK.
Indeed, the Resolution Foundation tells us that jobs in sectors with a high concentration of routine tasks fell by 5% between 2007 and 2012.
But guess what: there may be an awful lot worse to come.
A book that a lot of people are reading right now is the Second Machine Age.
It’s a positive book and its argument is simple:
Our ability to combine technology – processing power, cheap sensors, robotics, networks, social media, big data, means we’re now at an inflection point in our ability to combine and recombine technologies to do new things, revolutionising technology from Google’s driverless cars to better diagnosis of diseases.
- There’s now enough technology in a Nissan LEAF to render the car a fly-by-wire robot, the kind of technology that could revolutionise the logistics industry.
- GE already makes robots that can climb and repair wind turbines.
- Future Advisor already uses Artificial Intelligence that’s strong enough to offer personalised financial advice.
- Algorithms are taking on tasks once performed by para-legals, contract and patent lawyers.
- Oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Care use IBM’s Watson computer to provide chronic care and cancer treatment diagnostics.
What’s does this mean for jobs?
Well, academics at the Oxford Martin School now estimate that as many of 47 per cent of the jobs in our economy today may be automated.
First it was the blue collar jobs. Now it’s the white collar jobs as well.
So what do we do?
Well, economists have worried about this kind of problem since JM Keynes flagged the issue of ‘technological unemployment’ back in 1930.
And as Keynes argued then, this can be a ‘temporary phase of maladjustment’ but only, I believe if we now get three things right.
First, we have to grow our knowledge-intensive industries; those firms in sectors like – computer programming and consultancy, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications – with a lot of intellectual property that they want to keep closely guarded.
Right now, those firms make up 1/3 of output, 1/3 of businesses but just one in five jobs.
Now if it was 1/3 of jobs, then we’d have 2.4 million more jobs in knowledge intensive industries.
Those jobs pay an awful lot more than average – £161 a week more – and that’s why other countries are working so hard to put science and innovation at the heart of their growth plans. We should do the same.
Second, we have to foster enterprise, new business and start-ups like never before.
It’s why we’re determined to be the party of small business and enterprise.
But, third, you have to build a great escalator to these new well-paid jobs for people, no matter where they started in life.
Right now, for many people, that escalator is broken.
Now, we do well at getting young people on an academic track into university.
The changes we made in office have created one of the strongest higher education systems in the world.
But, we our vocational system is not world class.
In fact, it’s a long way from world-class.
Here’s what the OECD said about our country last year:
‘England has too little vocational provision at post secondary level in comparison with many other countries, and relative to potential demand’. OECD P7
Just 10 per cent of the post secondary cohort is in vocational education and training – when many OECD countries have three times as many.
Neither our young people, or our employers think this is good.
McKinsey found that just 40% of UK young people believe that post-secondary education improves their employment prospects – that’s the lowest figure in the OECD.
Over two-thirds say that academic paths are more valued by society than vocational alternatives;
A third of employers now say that the lack of skills is the reason for entry-level vacancies and thanks to the destruction of our careers service, many young people are terribly informed about post-secondary choices.
So: what are the changes we need to make?
First, we have to create a gold standard technical qualification route for young people, with strong English and Maths, studies up to the age of 18
Today, Tristram Hunt is saying more about how we will create an aspirational new ‘National Baccalaureate’ for all school leavers which includes rigorous, stretching and labour-market responsive academic and vocational qualifications and skills;
How we will tackle the scandal of the more than 1 million young people not in education, employment or training by requiring schools to ensure their pupils progress post-16 – and use existing funding to support a radically transformed careers guidance system;
And how we will confront England’s international standing in maths and English by ensuring all young people continue to study assessed maths and English to 18.
Second, we have to at least double the number of apprenticeships on offer.
When it is harder to get an apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover than it is to get into an Oxford college, then I think it’s pretty obvious we need more.
In fact, there’s a strong case for saying we need to double the numbers of high quality apprenticeships.
Right now, we have 140,000 young people who are not in education or training.
Surely most of these young people should be on an apprenticeship.
So we’ve said that we will set up a something-for-something deal with employers – giving industry much more control over skills spending and standards, and in return asking that they increase the number of high quality apprenticeships in their sectors and supply chains.
We’re also studying hard the reforms pioneered in Manchester, which has been testing a UCAS style system for apprentices – long before Nick Clegg announced it.
And we like the look of the extraordinary pioneered in Leeds, where the City’s new Apprenticeship Hub, has doubled the number of apprentices in the city especially amongst SMEs, which as we know are creating jobs much faster than big business.
Third, we need to show young people and their parents that apprenticeships are a route the top.
For many aspirational families, they worry that apprenticeship are a cul-de-sac and not a fast-track to greater things.
The evidence shows they’re right.
I say: there should be no limits on how far an apprentice can go.
But that means revolutionising the number of apprentices who study university level qualifications.
Overwhelmingly, degree level education is the dominant course of post-secondary education.
There are 10 times as many people studying bachelor’s degrees as foundation degrees.
But the OECD found (in 2009) that the progression rate for apprentices at level 3 into higher education is just 6pc in the UK, slightly better than one in twenty.
‘The weak articulation between level 4 and 6 programmes and university bachelor programmes is a serious problem’
That is simply not sustainable in the world that is coming.
If we’re to solve this, I think we are going to need a far imaginative reform for higher education than simply abolishing student number controls for universities.
We’re going to need real action to create student choice.
Over the next few weeks, I’m afraid you’re going to see the Conservative party go into election mode.
The story they’ll tell is simple.
The problems we face today can only be solved if we set out a bold plan for less government.
In the words of the authors of Britannia Unchained, they’ll say “the siren call of the statists’ must be resisted and the “deadwood from the public sector” cut back.
Well, I’ll share a secret.
It wasn’t too much government that caused the financial crash. And it wasn’t too much government that caused the wage crash either.
What we need today is some-one to fix the market, with a different kind of government. A smarter government, determined to act to help our country grow and create a society where no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you work hard, you’ll succeed.
That’s the country I want for my children and my constituents.
I’m some-one who has been very fortunate in life.
I went from behind a fry station in McDonalds in Harlow, to the Harvard Business School to start a business, to represent Hodge Hill with a seat in the Cabinet.
Today, my young constituents are denied those kinds of chances. More than one in five is unemployed and two thirds don’t get to go university.
I am in politics to change that.
I am in politics to restore the kind of social mobility that once upon a time we had in this country.
And I believe we can do it, but only if we change course.
I know the size of the task.
But with your help, I believe it can be done.
Thank you very much.
 Autor and Dorn, Services and Polarisation, American Economic Review, 2013.
 McKinsey, p.18.
 In Scotland the ratio isn’t 10 to 1, it’s 2 to 1.
 OECD, p45
 OECD, 46
Last week I led a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to India. Whilst on the trip I wrote an article on UK / India collaboration on Higher Education and particularly International Students for the Times Higher Educational Supplement. You can read the text of my article below:
We must rev up our relationship with India
27 FEBRUARY 2014
The UK has to strengthen ties with Asia if it is to reverse the decline in international students, says Liam Byrne
The fall in international student numbers has caused widespread concern across UK universities – and rightly so. Amid a booming global market for higher education, a drop in numbers reveals one blunt truth: Britain is losing market share.
I’ve just returned from India, where I was getting to the bottom of what we need to do to stop the decline and restart the growth. Three facts are striking.
First, we are not even at the “end of the beginning” of our education relationship. Education leaders in India are very clear about the value of international links. “We want our students to be able to compete as global citizens,” one college principal said to me. It’s as simple as that.
The British Council has breathtaking forecasts about the size of the Indian student market. It is not simply that there are more than 600 million people under the age of 25, it is also that Indian students have the biggest appetite to learn abroad. In a country that is clear about the economic virtues of learning English, just 10 per cent of the 1.2 billion population speak English and only 5 per cent speak it well. There is a huge market for us to aim at.
Second, the British education brand still holds extraordinary lustre – but our competition is increasing dramatically.
In a Q&A with 100 students at the elite Sri Venkateswara College at the University of Delhi, I heard from India’s future research scientists, biotech entrepreneurs, teachers, journalists and politicians. What is fascinating is how many of these young people consider international experience and connections to be critical to their future success. But plenty are worried about the chances of landing a graduate level job in the UK even if they manage to undertake their undergraduate studies here.
Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European studies at the University of Oxford, recently argued in a national newspaper that a thesaurus does not contain enough words to describe the folly of the government’s approach; last week, his comments featured in the op-ed pages of The Hindu andHindustan Times.
I know better than most the challenges of getting the immigration balance right. When I was immigration minister, I created the UK Border Agency and introduced the points system. I took immense care to create a system that I thought would work well for UK universities, not least because every British ambassador I met told me that increasing foreign student numbers was the key to expanding our long-term influence in countries where we are not quite the centre of diplomatic attention.
No doubt I did not get everything right. But the signals sent by the reforms of the past three years are heard loud and clear by potential students in India, creating a great wall of noise that makes it harder, not easier, to get the message through about our brilliant UK universities.
That is why it is simply ridiculous that students are in the “net migration target”, and that is why David Hanson, the shadow immigration minister, and I will be soon hosting round-table talks with university and further education leaders to discuss how to claw back lost ground. After all, universities in India have plenty of choice in terms of selecting international partners. One leading principal told me that she was partnering with institutions in Germany and Italy because they teach English well – and more cheaply than we do.
Third, we have to think more radically about building a deeper and wider UK-India education relationship.
Indian vice-chancellors are hungry not just for UK students, but for joint research, faculty and postdocs, beyond the 600 or so education partnerships created through the UK-India Education Research Initiative.
India’s business leaders, like their counterparts in the UK, want a better supply of more “employable” students, and the Indian government has set a target of upskilling an incredible 500 million people within a decade. Like us, Indian policymakers worry about closing the gap between secondary school and university, and that means vast opportunities for our great further education colleges.
So we should be immensely ambitious. If the global race is anything, it is an innovation race. Indian leaders know that they have to double the less than 1 per cent of gross domestic product they currently spend on R&D if they are to put “affordable innovation” within reach of the Indian mass market. Frankly, we face the same challenge. The fastest way out of today’s living standards crisis is to increase the number of people working in knowledge-intensive sectors, where wages are 40 per cent higher than the national average.
You need only look at the extraordinary success of Jaguar Land Rover, a subsidiary of the Indian carmaker Tata Motors, just north of my Birmingham, Hodge Hill constituency, to see what is possible. The fundamentals of our innovation relationship are strong and getting stronger. Developments such as the new Emerging Powers Research Fund, for international scientific collaboration, and Newton International Fellowship scholarships are exactly the kinds of initiatives I called for in my book Turning to Face the East: How Britain Can Prosper in the Asian Century (2013).
The surest way to put this relationship in the slow lane is to make it ever harder for students, teachers and researchers to get across the border.
For political junkies, it is a good time to be in India, the world’s largest democracy. The country is about to go to the polls and, for the first time in years, a change is on the cards.
During my visit, the finance minister presented his budget, a last chance to put a few poll-winning goodies before the voters. And what was there among the headlines? Big new subsidies for student loans. Indian politicians know the allure of a better education for the world’s biggest middle class. We should be doing more to put those dreams within reach.
Last week I led a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to India. Whilst on the trip I wrote an article on UK / India collaboration on Science and Innovation. You can read the text of my article below:
The UK and India can both prosper through forging an innovation partnership, writes Liam Byrne in Bangalore
If Britain is to escape the cost of living crisis, it must grow the size and strength of its knowledge-intensive companies, which offer a pay-packet 40 per cent bigger than the national average and generate a third of the national output but currently employ just one in five of the nation’s workers. To do so, Britain needs to become the best place in the world for collaborative science and innovation—and I am convinced that will require deep roots in India. So I have been in Bangalore this week to study the future of what is set to become one of the UK’s most important relationships.
From its modest start as the humble home of small firms like Wipro, Infosys and Biocon, Bangalore has grown to hosts 40 per cent of India’s IT industry and most of its biotech. But it is the city’s ambitions for the future that have really caught my eye. The state government’s cabinet is clear about its plans to supplant San Francisco as the world’s leading IT hub within the next eight years. On Friday the Deccan Herald carried stories of a proposal for Bangalore to become India’s first “smart” city. The business community is organising behind ambitious plans for new infrastructure. This is an ambitious place. How can the UK and India harness these ambitions and ride into the future together?
There are three things to do. First, innovation should be put at the heart of the relationship between the UK and India. This is a delicate moment. The British government is scaling back its foreign aid to India and instead proposes to provide technical assistance and collaboration on great global causes.
With less money to spend in the future, Britain needs to spend strategically. Speaking to development experts, village and city leaders and economists, it is clear that there will be huge demand for help on building low-carbon cities, public health, water and sanitation, urban transit, education and, crucially, good governance. These are all areas where systematic, creative and applied policy innovation between the UK and India could not only boost inclusive growth, but also deliver ideas to offer to the rest of the world.
Second, the damage done to the image of British further and higher education must be repaired. The British government’s net migration target has projected the impression that Indian students are not welcome in the UK. Tim Garton Ash of the University of Oxford recently wrote: “Stupid. Incoherent. Short-sighted. Cack-handed. Intrusive. Counter-productive. One thesaurus is not enough to describe the folly of the British government’s policy towards foreign students.” His comments were widely featured in India this week on the op ed pages of the Hindu and Hindustan Times.
As I have said before, it is ridiculous that students are included in the net migration target, not just for the immediate damage but also because it stops people from thinking far more radically about how to build a deeper, wider education relationship which allows students to incorporate study in India into British degree or research programmes—and vice versa. The business community in Bangalore is seeking such programmes.
The British Council has breathtaking forecasts about the size of the Indian student market: it is not simply 600 million people under the age of 25, but their extraordinary international mobility. Education leaders in India are ambitious for international links and the British education brand still holds great lustre, but the competition is increasing.
Yet as Britain pivots east, India is pivoting west to America and east to Japan. The US-India civil nuclear deal struck in 2005, which enables India to buy nuclear fuel and technology from the US, has yet to yield, but strategically the US-India relationship is strong. It is striking how many of the entrepreneurs I met in Bangalore were educated in America—and how many young people in India look to the US before Europe. Meanwhile collaborations between India and Japan are also strengthening.
The third thing to get right is how to move from shared research to shared innovation. Since 2008, UK-India research has grown to some £150 million, not least because of the excellent work of Research Councils UK and the British High Commission’s science and innovation team. But the challenge now is to build a much bigger innovation relationship.
So I should like to see a good chunk of the £90 million fund for research collaboration with emerging nations, announced by the chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement, dedicated to UK-India innovation. I want more work to build stronger, bigger joint catapult centres in Bangalore, a popular idea with Bangalore IT entrepreneurs. Crucially I want to see a long-term plan for UK-India innovation that integrates the work of the research councils, the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade and Investment, with perhaps a bigger shared venture fund. One model for this kind of coordination is the UK-Israel hi-tech hub in the British embassy in Tel Aviv.
The UK and India are capable of great things, as evidenced by the success of Jaguar Land Rover just north of my Hodge Hill constituency. The Royal Society’s bold plan for the first Commonwealth science conference to be held in Bangalore is a fantastic chance to light up in technicolor UK-India science collaboration. The vibrant UK-India Education and Research Initiative, the new emerging powers fund and the Newton scholarships run by the British Academy and the Royal Society are all very welcome initiatives and exactly the kind of proposal I called for in my book, Turning to Face the East, last year.
Britain should be immensely ambitious about the UK-India innovation partnership. History has made the two countries good friends. But the future makes us partners. Let’s make it a partnership with ambition.
Liam Byrne is the shadow minister for universities, skills and science. He led the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation to India this week.
Interview with People’s Daily – “China is now facing challenges-an exclusive interview with Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education”
I recently did an interview with People’s Daily one of the largest news organisations in China. I spoke about the need for deeper relations between the UK and China and shared my understanding of ‘the Chinese Dream’.
You can watch my interview using the link below;
Press Release from Liam Byrne MP – PAC Report on £80 billion black hole in Student Finance Budget
Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report on student loan repayments, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills Liam Byrne MP said:
“The Public Accounts Committee has today exposed an astonishing £80 billion black hole in the student finance budget. It is now crystal clear that the system ministers have put in place is unsustainable and is going bust.
“Across our universities, vice-chancellors and students alike are rightly concerned that the government’s student finance system is bust and unfit for the future. So that we can to earn our way out of the cost-of-living crisis with more better-paid, high-skilled jobs we need more opportunities for young people to develop their skills, but to pay for their failure the government is hitting funding for increased access.
“But it’s now clear universities are sitting on flimsy foundations. We now need urgent answers from the government for how they’re going to fix this £80 billion pound mess which our country cannot afford. Ministers have serious questions to answer.”
Office of Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
020 7219 6953
Please find below the Committees full report:
Another Government shambles over Higher Education funding – response to the release of HEFCE letter and SFA statement
Commenting on the HEFCE grant letter published today, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills Liam Byrne MP said:
“Today’s announcement lays bare the black hole ministers have created in student funding. Ministers’ dogma in giving students at private colleges complete access to the student loan system has resulted in an unsustainable system and now they are hitting poorer students to make up the shortfall. The fact that cuts are being targeted at support for the poorest students at university and the skills budget tells you everything you need to know about this government’s values and their ambitions for Britain’s future.
“I’m glad that months of campaigning and pressure by Labour and others have prevented the government axing the student opportunity fund – but cuts to the lifeline that keeps the poorest students at work and a huge 20% cut to the skills budget risk throwing social mobility in our country into reverse at the very time we need to earn our way out of the cost of living crisis.”
1. Total cuts to the HE budget look like over £100M. The Access to Learning Fund will now be merged with Student Opportunities and cut by £37m. Funding per student is set to fall as the government has refused to set out how many of the forecast extra 30,000 students will start next year.
2. Minister for Higher Education and Science David Willetts admitted to Liam Byrne that giving students at private colleges unfettered access to the Student Loan System is set to cost over £600 million next year (2014/15). http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2014-01-29a.185071.h&s=speaker%3A11360#g185071.q0
I thought you’d like to see this new report we launched in the House of Lords this week, produced by Roland Berger.
Britain needs to turn east if we’re to rebuild ourselves as a mighty trading nation
once more – and this vital report helps show us how.
As Chinese leaders step up their reforms in search of the ‘Chinese dream’, a huge new
market the size of Greece is being created every eleven weeks. But we need to get
organised if we’re to share in those new riches – and we need to think carefully and
strategically about how we structure the win-wins that will be good for both countries.
This report could not have arrived at a better time. It offers a detailed study of how
we can clear away the barriers that stop us exporting, become China’s favourite place
to invest and build the joint ventures that will create jobs both here and in China. It
demands to be read by business people, policy makers and politicians everywhere. In
the APPG, we’ll be doing our utmost to ensure its ideas, messages and proposals are
heard far and wide.
I hope you enjoy reading the report you can access the report by clicking here.
Inspiring Entrepreneurs in partnership with Barclays – Great free event for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Birmingham by Barclays and the British Library – 25 February 2014
Inspiring Entrepreneurs in partnership with Barclays
Aspiring Entrepreneurs can get free advice from Internet Icons like Asos, Moonpig and Decoded.
Tuesday 25 February, 17.45 – 21.00
FREE Live Screening
Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2ND
The UK internet scene has never been so exciting. Web 2.0 has opened the floodgates for new social networking sites, wikis, blogs and an array of new, user-generated online ventures. Online businesses are bigger than ever with entrepreneurs and investors eager to spot the next big opportunity.
Internet Icons brings together a panel of some of the most successful internet and tech entrepreneurs, all with an amazing insight into what makes the difference between a one-hit wonder and a real online success.
If you are a business owner with ambitions to take advantage of the internet boom, come along and take this opportunity to quiz our web wizards and find out how they have created some of the best known online brands and conquered global markets.
Panel Speakers include:
- Nick Robertson OBE, co-founder and CEO of ASOS
- Kathryn Parsons, founder and CEO of Decoded
- Nick Jenkins, founder of Moonpig
The panel discussion will be streamed live from the British Library in London, after you’ve heard from local entrepreneur Genelle Aldred from SadeRose in Birmingham. Plus, you can put your questions to all speakers and network with other local business owners.
Book your free place now using the link below:
The Library of Birmingham has its own Business & IP Centre, doing fantastic work, offering free and cheap advice to small and medium businesses.
Earlier this week I visited Rolls-Royce’s state-of-the-art site based in Derby.
This is Rolls-Royce’s main site in the UK and it is stunning. With assembly suites and test beds for ground-breaking jet engines the size of a small house the site is truly amazing.
I was privileged to have a tour of the site, see some of the engines being tested and learn more about this world-leading company based in the heart of Britain.
Rolls-Royce prides itself on it’s highly skilled workforce. Of it’s over 40,000 employees across the globe almost half are highly qualified engineers.
But Rolls-Royce is not being complacent – they are investing in the next generation of their workforce. They currently spend almost £40 million on training and development.
A large part of this is based at Rolls-Royce Apprentice Academy in Derby. I was privileged to be given a tour of the Academy’s three-storey, 3,850 square metre site replete with workshops and hundreds of apprentices. A Rolls-Royce apprenticeship is a passport to a secure job and success – members of the senior management at Rolls-Royce began their working lives as apprentices and have climbed their way to the top. In fact it is more competitive to secure a Rolls-Royce apprenticeship than it is to get into an Oxford college. When an Apprentice begins at Rolls-Royce they are told that the sky is the limit and that there is no limit to how far they could go.
We need to see more Rolls-Royce’s across our country and we need to see the number of high quality apprenticeships increase dramatically if we are to tackle the skills shortage and the cost of living crisis which our country is facing.
Liam with Rolls-Royce Apprentices at the Rolls-Royce Apprenticeship Academy in Derby