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For Keir Starmer’s in-tray: what UK business needs now

The election is over – now the real work begins. Anthony Walker, Strategic Manager at Liverpool John Moore’s University spoke with to reflect on what they wish to see from our new prime minister.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy. But, from speaking to them, we know the challenges they’ve faced in recent years when it comes to skills and innovation. The new government vowed to support this in its election manifesto, and it will be crucial for the future of the economy that this is upheld.

In 2022, a government Employer Skills Survey reported that more than a third of employment vacancies were due to a lack of skills, qualifications or experience among applicants.

Workers haven’t been supported to build the vital skills they need in recent years, both for their own success and for the future of their industry.

The new government must prioritise skills and innovation, ensuring that they follow through on their promises to support SMEs, particularly in supporting new and emerging industries like the green economy to build the workforce of the future.

Businesses – particularly SMEs – require new kinds of assistance to support innovation. Key to this will be in fostering a strong relationship between teaching, research and industry to allow each to inform the others’ progression.

The Liverpool City Region has already seen great success with the government-funded Horizons project which, led by Liverpool’s three universities, exists to support SMEs with the expertise, facilities, and funding needed to embrace innovation.

With a new government now in power, it is crucial it seeks to leverage the benefits that result from businesses and our leading research and development institutions working together.”

Full article can be found here.