28th February 2012
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Henley MP, John Howell, has launched a new initiative aimed at ensuring that local businesses have the skills for growth and a strong economic future.  The initiative, which is supported by The Henley College and the Oxfordshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP) will start with a major event to be held at The Henley College around the end of April. The purpose of this event will be to help identify the skills businesses see themselves as needing and showing them where and how they can get them. 


John said:


“At the height of the recession I organised a number of events in Henley and across the constituency aimed at helping our local businesses survive.  What we now need is to help our businesses prepare for growth.  At the heart of this is ensuring that they have or know how to get the right skills.


“The Government has made considerable amounts of money available, for example, to support apprenticeships.  It has also taken significant steps to help cut red tape, reduce corporation tax, expand loan guarantees and provide cash incentives to take on apprentices.  However, we want to hear from business whether there is more that can be done. For example, running a small business is like being head cook and bottle-washer.  What sort of apprenticeships would best prepare someone for this sort of business?”


The picture of the skills training available is often complex.  Tom Espley, principal of The Henley College, commented:


“We can add real value to this initiative as the leading local provider of skills training by providing a route map for businesses as to what is already available and helping to put shape to what might be required for the future.” 


Feedback from business will be a major feature of the event.  This will complement the work already being undertaken by the Oxfordshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP) to find out what are the barriers to growth and what are the issues around skills and recruitment.


Dr Martin Dare-Edwards, Chairman of the Oxfordshire LEP, said:


“Through the Oxfordshire LEP we are working to tackle the barriers to economic growth throughout our county, which includes encouraging more entrepreneurs to start-up & grow their businesses, and also to support their needs for talent and skills.  I am delighted to support John’s initiative and to hear from business itself in and around Henley what it wants for the future.”


John added:


“I want to encourage our local businesses to take up the opportunity of apprenticeships and skills training.  These opportunities are there no matter the size of the business.  


 “Apprenticeships are about giving individuals the skills they need for the future and about giving business the skilled workforce it needs to support success.  I hope that this initiative will help our local businesses prepare for growth.”


Details of the event and how to book a place will be made available in the middle of March.

About the Author

Gill and Phil C

Member since: 9th July 2012

Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.

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