Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : John Healey promotes enterprise and skills in Yorkshire and Humber [January 2005]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 17 January 2005.

Enterprise and high skilled jobs are now the key to long-term prosperity in Britain, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury – John Healey MP – has outlined today in a visit to the Yorkshire and Humber region. He has pointed to the Government’s commitment to take tough decisions to achieve American levels of business creation and ensure that, at every level, Britain has the best-educated and most flexible workforce in the world.

In discussions with the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward, and the Yorkshire and Humber Learning and Skills Council he also promoted the importance of modern manufacturing industry for both regional growth and the UK economy as a whole.

While there are 300,000 more businesses in the UK than in 1997, if the UK had a business start up rate equivalent to the US 1.8 million more businesses would be in place. And if Yorkshire and Humber had a start up rate equivalent to the most enterprising areas in the UK, it would have extra 15,550 businesses.

John Healey visited staff and pupils taking part in the ‘Enterprise in Action’ project at the Archbishop of York Church of England School in York this morning.  This afternoon he visited Sidhall and Hilton Products Ltd in Brighouse which currently has 10 staff undertaking a level 2 qualification in Performing Manufacturing Operations as a part of the Government’s Employer Training Pilot.

The Minister also held discussions with both Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency, and the Yorkshire and Humber Learning and Skills Councils where he discussed the importance of small business start up, building an enterprise culture, and securing workforce development. He pointed to the recent Pre-Budget Report, which included:

  • the publication of Philip Hampton’s interim report on rationalising inspection and enforcement regimes;
  • new rules guiding the implementation of European Union regulations;
  • significant reductions in compliance burdens for small businesses through the integration of HM Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue;
  • measures to improve support for small businesses by challenging the Regional Development Agencies to use their new devolved powers to go beyond the one-size-fits-all business advice of the past and provide focused, tailored mentoring and support for small firms;
  • accepting in full the Graham Review recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee scheme, deregulating Business Angel investors in small firms, and making tax changes to facilitate university spin-outs;
  • roll out by 2007-08 of the National Employer Training Programme, which was piloted in both South and West Yorkshire; and
  • the establishment of the Leitch Review looking at long-term skills requirements.

The visit – one in a series to regions around the country – is a chance for those involved with skills and enterprise in the Yorkshire and Humber region to contribute their views to preparations for this year’s Budget.

John Healey said:

“In any successful modern economy the presence of leading-edge, high-growth businesses is vital. To promote growth and economic sustainability we must invest in long-term drivers; to raise skills levels, encourage innovation and invest in technology. That is why the Government is determined to rise to the challenge of securing an enterprise culture and skilled workforce to ensure American levels of business start up.”