Recently in Richard Halstead Category
Much has been made of our position as the world's sixth largest producer and provider of low-carbon goods and services. But there are signs we are faltering. Manufacturing, the largest slice of activity in the sector, contracted in 2010/11 while China, the US and others are experiencing rapid growth in this sector.
We now have the long awaited plans for reforming the UK banking sector in particular safeguards to try to make it harder for the government to end up on the hook for a big bank and all its risky investment business going down bust.
The government has finally responded to the Frost/Black review of sickness absence recommendations which was published back in November 2011. The initial review was aimed at making a step change in the issue of tackling both short and long term absence, a problem that still costs the UK economy large sums each year
Last week's Autumn Statement was a big event and much more than the originally intended interim update on the state of the nation. Fragile business confidence and muted activity indicators spurred the Chancellor to demonstrate that he really does have a grip on the levers of growth. Against a backdrop of missed fiscal targets and a downbeat growth assessment -both in the UK and in world markets - the Chancellor responded with a significant round of reprioritisation to fund tax cuts and infrastructure.
The Bank of England released the first round of data today on the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The scheme was launched by the Governor and the Chancellor earlier this year with the aim of improving the net flow of credit to UK households and private non-financial companies.
When the government announced it had commissioned an independent Review on Apprenticeships, led by entrepreneur Doug Richard, the general feeling was 'not another Review' - the Holt Review was still due to be published and the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee was still undergoing its inquiry into Apprenticeships.
Today, we have published our Autumn Statement submission ahead of the Chancellor's speech next week. The statement is one of the most important for some time and must set out the government's ambition to create a stronger economy based on increased investment and exports. It must then back it by prioritising whatever government resources and spending is available with measures that will help to deliver it.
Have we reached a turning point in the Bank of England's decision making after the MPC voted for no changes to either interest rates or, its asset purchase programme at its latest meeting.
This week will see the publication of the review by Lord Heseltine which was commissioned by the Chancellor and announced at the Budget back in March. The aim of the review was to look at what is holding back private sector growth at national and regional level and to see how we can improve our trade performance overseas.
We often talk about the need for young people to leave the education system with adequate numeracy and literacy skills. As such, EEF recently set a benchmark for government for 65% of school leavers to achieve five GCSE A*-C grades including English and maths by 2015.