The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today launched its blueprint for tackling rising unemployment with a plan to create 400,000 new jobs.
Ahead of the Government’s New Year Jobs Summit, held today, the FSB outlined five ways to create and retain jobs in a rapidly shrinking job market, identifying unemployment as the big challenge of the coming year.
The FSB’s Five Point Plan identifies promoting part-time working; investing in apprenticeships; simplifying legislation; giving small businesses more opportunities to bid for public contracts; and cutting payroll taxes, as the key to unlocking the challenge of unemployment.
The FSB blueprint provides a framework for creating sustainable quality jobs in the small and medium-sized business sector, which employs more than half of the private sector workforce.
By decreasing the burden of regulation on business, the Government could increase the number of jobs by 160,000 and save 73,000 jobs by preventing company closures. Following the example of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme in the 1980s, the Government could also take 191,000 people out of unemployment in four years and help them into self-employment. This would not only help grow the economy but could in turn create more jobs as these small businesses flourish.
Unemployment falls hardest on the 16-25 year group. Small businesses are invariably employers of those who might otherwise struggle in the job market. Small businesses are also more likely to employ those out of work for longer, or looking for more flexible working patterns. The FSB blueprint would see more of these people given opportunities to work.
Making it easier for small businesses to win public procurement contracts would also see local investment double, while cutting payroll taxes, by raising the National Insurance Contributions threshold, would make it less costly for businesses to employ and retain staff and put money back into employees’ pockets.
FSB National Chairman, John Wright, said:
“The FSB’s Five Point Plan is going to be vital to creating and retaining jobs in the small business sector during what is going to be a challenging year, with unemployment on the rise.
“We are calling for the Government to help small businesses to continue to invest in recruitment and training so they can grow stronger and more competitive, creating quality jobs and doing their bit to pull the UK out of the recession as quickly as possible.”
Locally, FSB Cornwall Regional Chairman and National Vice Chairman, Carol Wells said:
“This is a golden opportunity for Cornwall to really use Convergence funding to prepare our local businesses with the skills and support to lead the way out of the current economic difficulties. Government must support our local agencies to ensure that they can meet their commitments for match funding and really listen to the small businesses who will be at the heart of the recovery.”