CBI: CBI comments on Vince Cable's speech
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CBI comments on Vince Cable's speech

The CBI commented on a speech by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow

The CBI commented on a speech by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow.

Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“Business agrees that fiscal discipline, industrial strategy, a skilled workforce and an effective migration system are essential building blocks for our economic future. But we must keep our flexible labour market to get more people into work.

On the deficit, she said:

“The job is still only half done and tough decisions need to be made. Whoever is in Government will need to balance the books, while at the same time targeting spending on areas that spur growth, such as capital spending and innovation.

On industrial strategy, she said:

“Dr Cable is absolutely right that industrial strategies for our ambitious sectors will lay the long-term foundations for a healthy economy.

“We must keep powering up these sectors helping them to create jobs and sell our world-beating goods in new markets.

On immigration, she said:

“Businesses understand the need for managed migration but it’s essential that the system also helps attract the brightest and best to the UK.  Negative rhetoric on immigration can send out the wrong signal to companies seeking to invest here, so firms will welcome the recognition that skilled immigration is good for the country.

“The net migration target is arbitrary and should be scrapped, while freedom of movement in the EU is an essential part of the single market which is central to the UK's economic success. 

On a rise in the National Minimum Wage Rate for apprentices, she said:

"Apprenticeships are a vital route for young people to get a step on the career ladder and are part of the answer to solving the UK's skills crisis.

“Yet too few apprenticeships at the moment go to the young and relatively unskilled. Companies already pay their share into training, so raising the cost of taking these young people on would be unwise and put off many smaller firms from getting involved.

On a review into employment status, she said:

"Business wants to maintain a flexible labour market that delivers for both employees and firms because it creates new jobs and helps people get into work.

“Companies and workers value the range of flexible employment practices on offer and we should seek to preserve this, but both parties should be clear about their rights under the terms of contracts and any examples of poor practice should rightly be rooted out." 

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