The Budget was good news for our growing businesses

Alan Mak MP on the production line at Havant firm Outsource Electronics
Alan Mak MP on the production line at Havant firm Outsource Electronics
A weather warning for strong winds has been issued across the Portsmouth area. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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THE Budget announced on Wednesday set out a number policies to help create jobs and give everyone the skills to succeed in life.

Nationally, the Budget contained good better than expected growth in the economy, driven by expanding firms such as Havant’s Outsource Electronics, which I had the chance to visit last week.

Announcements by the chancellor included a range of new measures to help more people back into work, and support them in getting better jobs.

This includes new investment of £500m a year into technical education, so that our children are ready to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow, and an increase in the amount of training for 16 to 19-year- olds by 50 per cent, to 900 hours a year.

More than 13,000 existing qualifications will be simplified into 15 ‘routes’ linked to the needs of employers, helping to build genuine parity of esteem between academic and technical education.

These reforms – the most ambitious since A-Levels were launched 70 years ago – complement the government’s work since 2010 to upskill Britain’s workforce and accelerate the take-up of apprenticeships. From building new University Technical Colleges to abolishing employers’ national insurance contributions for apprentices under 25, we are not only equipping young people with the skills for success but making it easier for businesses to hire and train apprentices.

There was also more good news for small businesses with £435m to support firms affected by business rates relief revaluation. As recognised by the chancellor, these small and medium sized enterprise remain the backbone of the economy.

That is why my next event will celebrate these firms and I’m pleased to say that nominations for my Havant Small Business Awards are open are in 12 different categories.

Whether it is a favourite cafe, pub or restaurant, a tradesman who has gone the extra mile, or a local business leader or apprentice who has inspired you, we welcome your nominations. Visit alanmak.org.uk/nominate to find out more.