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SMEs and training providers questioned on small businesses and productivity

05 June 2018

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee publishes written evidence submissions from a range of businesses and organisations, including Zurich Insurance, the Rail Supply Group, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

A variety of issues relating to small businesses and productivity are raised in the written evidence, including the impact of late payments on SMEs, the paucity of effective management training, the difficulties of ‘scale-up’, and the lack of digital skills.

On Tuesday 5th June, the BEIS Committee inquiry into small businesses and productivity will hear from SMEs and training providers with witnesses including representatives from the CIPD, Goldman Sachs, Open University, Monster Group UK, and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Chair's comments

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"SMEs make up more than 99% of private businesses and account for more than half of turnover and employment in the UK. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and it's vital that that we get the business support right to boost innovation and the productivity of our SMEs. The written evidence we've received highlights a range of issues which hinder small businesses and damage their productivity, but two main themes emerge - the often crippling impact of late payments by major companies and the lack of effective management training.
 
"The devastating problems for small firms posed by delayed payments by large suppliers were highlighted by the recent collapse of Carillion, which left unpaid debts running in to the millions of pounds. We've questioned the Small Business Commissioner on what is being done to tackle the poor treatment of small and medium-sized businesses and we shall continue to monitor action in this area during this inquiry.

"In our evidence hearing on Tuesday, we will focus on the issue of management training, hearing from SMEs and from training providers about some of the issues in providing effective management training to help develop leadership in SMEs."

Witnesses

Tuesday 5 June 2018, The Wilson Room

At 10am

This small businesses and productivity session will focus on access to leadership and management training and issues such as digital skills and access to the latest technology.

First panel

  • Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy, CIPD
  • Paula Whitehouse, Associate Dean for Enterprise, Aston Business School
  • Charlotte Keenan, Head of the Office of Corporate Engagement International, Goldman Sachs
  • David Willett, Director of Business Development Unit (Interim), Open University
  • Sarah Underwood, Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice, Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, Leeds University

Second panel

  • Tony Danker, Chief Executive, Be the Business
  • Ruby Peacock, Deputy Head of Public Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Andrew Wright, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Panel
  • Rana Harvey, Owner of Monster Group UK

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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