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IoD Growth Plan Launched by New Director General

In a new report published yesterday, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has set out a plan to boost the UK’s economic outlook in the short and long term and defy current pessimism as to the ability of the economy to bounce back. In The Route Back to Growth (PDF) 15 proposals are identified which, if implemented by the Government and other policy makers, could make the UK one of the most competitive advanced economies in the world by 2020-25. As well as boosting demand in the short term with an immediate round of quantitative easing, the IoD proposals are designed to improve radically the supply side of the economy, with tax, regulatory and planning reforms being central. The Route Back to Growth was launched yesterday by Simon Walker on his first day as IoD Director General. The propos... »

Final Message from IoD Director General Miles Templeman

In a final statement, made as he stood down as Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD) after seven years in the post, Miles Templeman said: “Over the last seven years I have seen prime ministers, chancellors and especially business secretaries come and go. Some have understood the importance of the business agenda to the prosperity of the country better than others; and not everything government has done to business during this time has been unhelpful.” “I believe this government does have a clear business orientation. However, it has been very disappointing that successive governments have too often failed to turn their pro-business rhetoric into a comprehensive pro-business policy. The current government’s approach to employment regulation is a prime ... »

Banking Shake-up May Be Costly for Small Businesses

Ring-fencing the UK’s retail banking system could increase the costs of lending for small firms, business groups have warned. A report (PDF) by the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), headed by Sir John Vickers, has set out a series of key recommendations including ring-fencing the banks’ high street operations ― such as loans and overdrafts for small firms — in order to protect them from riskier investment banking divisions. Banks would also be required to set aside more cash to cushion them from future losses. In addition, the report proposed increasing the competition between banks by making it easier for customers to switch providers. The protective measures are designed to “make it easier and less costly to resolve banks that get into trouble” ... »

Employment Tribunal Reforms Won’t Deter Weak Claims

Government reforms of the employment tribunal system are “too timid” and won’t do enough to deter employees from making weak claims, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned. During a consultation on the proposed reforms, which closed on the 20th April, the IoD said that the planned changes would not result in a significant reduction of claims. The Government proposals include increasing the qualifying period for employees to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years, requiring all claims to be lodged with Acas’ Pre-claim conciliation service (although either party can refuse to go through the conciliation process), and introducing fees for users of employment tribunals. IoD spokesman, Edwin Morgan, said that the Government would need to go further with the ref... »

IoD: Moratorium on Red Tape not enough

The Government’s pledge to exempt the smallest businesses from new domestic regulations doesn’t go nearly far enough, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has said. The Chancellor confirmed in the Budget that the Government is introducing a three-year exemption from all new domestic regulation for small firms with fewer than ten employees, and will open a consultation on how this will be introduced. The IoD said that there was a danger that these micro businesses would be hit with an unmanageable red tape burden after the moratorium is removed. The business group also said it was “disappointed” that the moratorium on red tape was only temporary, applies to only the smallest firms, and does not tackle existing administrative burdens. “Over time, the Government needs to make the exemption ... »

Time to Train Regulations Postponed for Small Businesses

Regulations forcing small firms to offer staff the right to request training from this April have been postponed until the full impact of the reforms on businesses can be assessed. The Time to Train regulations (PDF) were introduced for larger firms in April 2010 and were due to come into force for small firms in April 2011. The regulations require businesses to go through a formal process when an employee asks for training, including reporting back in writing and addressing an appeal if the request is turned down. Commenting on the delay in introducing the reforms, further education, skills and lifelong learning minister, John Hayes said: “It’s vital that the right balance is struck between support for training and the need to minimise the burden of regulation for smaller companies.... »

Management, Leadership and Tech Skills Shortage Shackles Firms

In its latest skills survey, the Institute of Directors (IoD) reveals that the growth of nearly 60% of businesses is being held back by a lack of skills in the wider workforce and among existing employees. The IoD calls on the Government to improve the overall business environment by scaling back business taxes and employment regulations, including the misguided Time to Train policy, so that firms have more resources to invest in training. Commenting on the survey results (full details below), Miles Templeman, Director-General of the IoD, said: “It is disturbing that at a time of economic weakness, the growth of the private sector is being held back by skills shortages. Businesses want to invest in training and are doing so on a large scale already, but they would invest even more if... »

Local Enterprise Partnerships: Widen Scope says IoD

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has sounded out its view towards Local Enterprise Partnerships, the coalition Government’s planned replacements for Regional Development Agencies, in letters to Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary. The IoD has become "increasingly concerned" about the level of "parochialism" it has detected in preliminary talks about the geographical scale of the Local Enterprise Partnership proposals and Director-General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Miles Templeman, spelled out four principles in his letter to Eric Pickles and Vince Cable: ACTIVITY: The central focus of LEPs must be wealth creation and economic development. To this end, all LEPs should focus on transport, infrastructure and plan... »

Students Ill-equipped for Business Despite Record Results

Poor basic skills are leaving young people ill-equipped for work despite record exam results, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned. Even though this year’s A-level and GCSE results show record grades, the IoD has cautioned that high pass rates do not equate to more capable young people entering the workplace. “A lack of skills is holding back business growth and impeding organisations’ ability to capitalise on economic recovery,” said the IoD’s director-general, Miles Templeman. He added; “The fact that we have a system where we can expect little more than half the pupils to achieve the benchmark of five good GCSEs, including English and maths, is a fundamental problem.” The IoD has highlighted poor literacy and numeracy among people leaving education as majo... »

School Leavers Must Have Better Job Skills

School Leavers Must Have Better Job Skills

Small businesses are being held back by a lack of basic skills amongst employees, according to new research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) which shows employers want improved literacy and numeracy standards in education.   In an IoD survey of 1,300 directors, more than a third (33 per cent) reported that staff lacked basic skills such as literacy, numeracy and IT. Of those employers, seven in ten said that the skills gap was a “significant problem” in their organisation. Better standards in reading and writing were seen as an “urgent” priority for the next Government by almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) respondents, while 79 per cent wanted to see improved employability skills, such as communication, team working and problem solving. In addition, one in... »