UK small and medium businesses

Europe Remains the Top Export Market for UK Small Businesses

Europe Remains the Top Export Market for UK Small Businesses

UK small business transactions with Europe rose 59% to a staggering £198m in October 2015, indicating that UK company still rely heavily on Europe for overseas trade – research from World First has found. The UK’s reliance on European trade clashes with David’ Cameron’s recent mission to open up trade with China and has also raised concerns in light of the ongoing Brexit discussions. While small business trade with China has increased, with the amount of sterling traded in for yuan rising by 238% to £7.25m last year, UK companies still conducted 22-times more transactions with European markets. Chief economist at World First, Jeremy Cook, commented: “It’s clear that any decision to re-evaluate Britain’s relationship with the EU needs to be carefully considered given the volume of tra... »

Small Businesses Are Struggling to Find the Right Staff

Small Businesses Are Struggling to Find the Right Staff

UK small and medium businesses are struggling to find employees with the right skills or work ethic yet the majority refuse to take on an apprentice, a new survey by constructaquote.com has found. 77% of small business owners said they struggle to fill vacancies with 67% of complaining that job seekers do not have the right skills and 47% expressing concerns about a lack of proper work ethic. The survey, which interviewed nearly 2000 small and medium companies, found that, despite the skills shortage, 59% of small firms have never hired an apprentice and only 13% consider an apprentice a viable option. When asked why they had never taken on an apprentice, 40% of business owners said they felt apprentices would leave once training was completed, and 34% said taking on an apprentice was too ... »