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Skills and exports crucial for Gloucestershire companies in 2014

By BHawes  |  Posted: December 31, 2013

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A county business leader is urging the Government to provide vital support to help Gloucestershire companies develop overseas markets in 2014.

Anne Compton, director of Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce, also wants a better system for providing young people with the skills UK industries need.

The Chamber is part of the business organisation Business West and Ms Compton said the Government needed to help address these issues to "transform" the region.

"Urgency, scale and delivery are the three things that the Government must think about as we enter 2014," she said.

"There is no doubt Gloucestershire businesses have the talent and innovation to deliver, but they want to see bold measures to further drive recovery and enable them to go head-to-head with competitors across the world."

She said the four vital points included the delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects, including the go- ahead for more county projects like the upgrading of Junction 10 of the M5. Also, a skills system that better equipped young people for the world of work; access to finance for growing companies; and more support for firms looking to trade abroad.

Ms Compton added: "After years of recession, confidence is flowing back into the economy and economic forecasts are generally bullish about the future.

"We at Business West are in no doubt that Gloucestershire businesses will continue to make the county a dynamic and vibrant place to live and work in 2014 and beyond.

"However, the Government needs to deliver on the key issues our members are constantly asking for, which will transform this region from good to great."

John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, warned too many people are stuck in minimum wage jobs without routes to progression.

"That's a serious challenge that businesses and the Government must address," said the head of the employers' organisation."The good news is that wages will pick up in the year ahead as growth beds down and productivity improves."

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