Small businesses, small acorns

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By Stephen Metcalfe MP (& BiKBBI Patron);

Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and I am passionate about helping them thrive.

There were a record 5.5 million private sector businesses at the start of 2016, accounting for 99.3 per cent of all registered private sector businesses in the UK with total employment in SMEs over 15.7 million. That is a staggering 60 per cent of all private sector employment.

I know the challenges they face and how much businesses value certainty and stability having, run one myself before becoming an MP. I believe the best way to support business is through a strong, stable economic climate that supports investment and growth.

I am proud of the Government’s record in supporting small businesses and of the ambition of its Industrial Strategy to go further and back them to the hilt.
Since 2010, the Government has put a business-led recovery at the heart of its plans, cutting Corporation Tax from 28 per cent to 19 per cent. Soon it will fall to 17 per cent, by far the lowest in the G20.


Recently I received the honour of being appointed an Apprenticeships Ambassador and will work to target specific areas and raise awareness helping to champion the opportunities and benefits that apprenticeships can offer.

Providing our young people with the best start to get on in life and have a rewarding career is an area close to my heart.

Apprenticeships can give young people the opportunity to learn a valuable skill while earning at the same time. Apprenticeships also have proven benefits for employers too:

Energy. Young people bring new energy to any business and can raise the productivity with new ideas to keep growing, and new people to generate and execute these new ideas.

New skills. Fresh talent are keen to learn and gain new skills, but they can also bring news skills that might not currently be used in the workplace such as social media engagement.

More Business. These new approaches can generate new business by reaching out to customers in ways that suit them.

Loyalty. Recruiting young keeps labour costs down, increases flexibility for existing employees and will also make hiring simpler and cheaper in the long term. Many apprentices become loyal to a company and stay on to develop into that next superstar employee.

Great British Society. Every employer has a wider social responsibility to their local community and British society. By taking on an apprentice, a business is training up local talent, boosting domestic employment and helping build our economy. Business that are socially responsible can also benefit from a positive community profile.

I am encouraged by The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation’s recent work towards developing a robust Apprenticeship for KBB Installation to be located within the UK’s first College for Advanced Technology – PROCAT.

In the meantime I would encourage all members to reap the rewards, boost local talent and help play their part in Great British society by hiring an apprentice today.

Stephen Metcalfe
Member of Parliament
for South Basildon & East Thurrock

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