The Look East Debate Our Economy

The Look East Debate

Similar Content

Browse content similar to The Look East Debate. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello. Well, who would have thought it? Four years after our economy


was plunged into crisis we are still here, desperate to avoid


another recession. We have got huge debts and mass unemployment. The


question is this, how will we get ourselves out of this mess and back


on the road to prosperity? APPLAUSE. Good evening took Silicon Fen in


Cambridge. This is the headquarters of a company called ARM. They


design the important bits then you're electrical products like


mobile phones, telephones, washing machines and cars. It is very


successful and the company is now worth over �7.5 billion,


considerably more than Marks & Spencers. The hi-tech companies


clustered around here are among the best in the world. We want to find


out how this ruin can drive the economy back into growth. We have


business leaders, entrepreneur's, investors and politicians. Before


we hear from them, let's get things started with some research which


has been specially commissioned for this programme. Times are tough but


according to this research our region is doing better than most.


Our unemployment rate is below the national average. We have got a


good the range of growth companies and industries. We have Silicon Fen,


a cluster of technology companies. Hour I t and life sciences


companies have been very resilient during the downturn. We have


motorsport engineers, pharmaceutical companies, we do


more than our share of research and development in this region. We have


an emerging renewables industry. We are particularly good at


encouraging start-up companies. Harlow in Essex has seen the


biggest upturn in company numbers. We have reasons to be cheerful.


were talking about new businesses. We have a terrific example of one


here. This family started a shellfish business on a river in


Suffolk. Let's look at their story. We are very proud of seeing our own


oysters on sale. When we are farming we never usually seek any


produce apart from beef on sale but the oysters we see everywhere. We


are planning to reintroduce native oysters into this river because


they were wiped out by a bug. The thing about school is that it is


all academic now. I am dyslexic and I cannot do that very well. If you


cannot be employed by anyone else you can always start your own


business. You just have to get out there and be you're born boss, try


it out, what is the worst that can happen? -- Be Your Own boss. There


is no denying that your son has the right kind of get out of the Earth


attitude but is that enough in this climate? It does not change the


fact that we have to supply shops and restaurants what they want,


when they want it and for the money than they can pay. If we do not do


that all the time all the enthusiasm in the world will not


keep your business thriving. I am sure everyone here wishes you the


best of luck. Harlow is doing very well for the number of start-up


businesses. You are leader of the council, why is it, what are you


doing right? Two things. The great location we have with the airport


just up the road and the motorway network. The council have also


taken a pro-business approach. We have a regeneration team who deal


with businesses on a one-to-one basis. Businesses do not get the


run around and shunted from department to department.


crucial are the banks in all of this? A lot of these small


businesses tell us that the banks are not lending to them which is


why the council uses its Government funding to make business life


easier. We have a building with very easy terms and shared


facilities that make it easy for start-up businesses to get it going


with minimum finance. We hear it all the time that it is tough for


small businesses because banks are not lending to them. As a banker,


we desperately want to lend to businesses. The only way that best


regional economy will be successful is by us all watching businesses


grow. Why are we not getting the money go? A lot of the small


businesses are not coming to the banks and asking for support


because there is a fear that we will see no. People with business


plans must approach the banks as fairly as possible with their ideas.


OK, that is good news, you are seeing if you do not cast you do


not get. Graham Bright you are the spokesperson for the Conservative


Party, why have the Government not meet the banks give loans? We do


have a guarantee scheme where the banks must lend to small businesses.


The Government is very committed to small businesses. I was chairman of


the Small Business Committee. are hearing that you are committed


to it, Simon Wright, a Lib-Dem MP, we hear all the time that Vince


Cable, he wants to help small businesses but it seems that the


money is not getting through? project merlin was introduced we


saw a 13 % increase in lending. What is that? It is a requirement


put on banks to lend more money to small businesses. They are largely


meeting their targets but nonetheless I hear similar stories


from small businesses that they are not getting access to the finance


they need. Later this week we will read about credit easing from the


Government. What would Labour be doing differently? We would not


just see it, we would do it. -- not just say it. Lending has gone down


by �10 billion. I agree that many countries around this region do a


brilliant job and we are supporting them but one thing is for sure that


this Government is not the one doing it. Are you getting the


support and funding that you need to grow? We are not. It is a


familiar story. The Government last year did put a lot more money into


this region, �70 million in infrastructure for life sciences


and health care but when you look at other markets like France,


Germany, Singapore, we are talking billions there. If we are going to


be globally competitive we need funding. Do you feel the east is


overlooked? I do. It is interesting that this region was singled out as


not receiving some funding. Let me put that 0.2 Graham Bright, you are


not investing in success here? are investing in infrastructure


which is important. Money is going end to the railway and the local


roads. The Thames linked links Luton and King's Lynn down to the


south. There are new docks being built on the Thames side. The new


Crossrail. Everything is the it to actually keep business and allow


business to move about. Hamel is sitting in the right place, we want


to put everyone in the right place. We will talk more about


infrastructure but let me bring you end, you are what people call at


business angel. You step in where the banks and potentially


Government fear to tread, what is the key to growth in this region?


The essay is an area where we have a large amount of research and


development. When the bank's top about small businesses, early-stage


companies do not even qualify. I am talking about companies that are p


Revenue, they have not got their project, they are doing research


and development in biotech and other forms of technology. Those


companies are our future and we have to do something


internationally to get them equivalent to similar companies in


other countries. I want to introduce warrant East, one of our


guests and a Heath executive here at ARM. -- Warren East. What


briefly do you think has been the key to success and the reason for


growth? We have been at it for 21 years. We started in a barn at 21


years ago. We have firstly some excellent technology. The way we go


about our business is collaborating with potential competitors, using


our technology to help service their companies and then we take a


small share in their profits. That has allowed us to move around,


target the growth markets and we have a culture that has helped us


go along. Some might say that ARM has succeeded against the odds.


What are the challenges facing us in this region? There is no doubt


that this region has potential economically but will it realise


that? We pay more tax each year to the Treasury than we get back. In a


sense, we get poor value for money from Government. This is reflected


in our infrastructure. Our roads leave a lot to be desired, Our


Railways, our broadband connections. Hour access to Government funding


is not always easy. The Regional Growth Fund is biased towards


poorer regions. We have to ask if we will fulfil our full potential


if our roads are always congested, our computers don't work


wonderfully well and also if we do not have equal access to Government


Another guest is Andrew Olley, you run a shop in Ely and you have one


major gripe. One of the challenges facing us is the demice of town


centres. -- demise. And my belief it is because local authorities


don't put enough focus on that town centre and they're more encouraged


to take money from out of town development of supermarkets.


have been to Ely and let's hear more about your situation. I run


City Cycle centre in Ely. We have been here for 40 years. Over 40


years how. As an independent trader. Along with a will the of other


trades within this city centre. But all of us are under threat as never


before. If a town centre has parking charges in it, and you have


huge car parks of 500 free spaces in a Sainsbury and 1,000 in a


Tescos that is planned, people go out of town. Huge amounts of money


are given to local authorities each time they allow out of town


developments. People will vote with their wheels and we'll lose our


town centre,. Well the Government has brought in the TV presenter and


expert marry - Mary Portas. How will the Government do this. Well


it is not the Government. It is local authorities. We're looking at


the moment at changes in terms of planning regulations and that is a


big debate. I take the point very much about out of town shopping,


compared with the city centre. I like going in the city centre and


enjoy that shopping. Really, this is down to local authorities being


sensible about it. Getting the balance right. And one of the big


issues is parking. As we have been told and we have got to address


that in our towns. Isn't one of the problems that we like to say yes we


love our town centre, but we still shop in the out of town


supermarkets and do shopping on the internet. It is difficult to match


the two. No, I love our market towns. I'm sure you shop in a


supermarket now and then. But it is not up to local authorities to be


balanced if the is ripping up the planning laws. I would like to


endorse what Richard said, you know, we're in a business audience, there


are many strengths in the region, but our businesses are suffering


too, whether it is the regional development agency that was


abolished, the local enterprise departments, the regional growth


fund, the Alice Bhandhukravi - ebroadband support. The Government


is -- the broadband support. Our business needs help too. You don't


get far without hereing the words A14. Paul Davey, it is one o' your


main bug bears. We're the largest container port in the UK, moving


40% of the UK's imports and exports through region and the A14 is our


major route to markets for our business and others. And there


should be a priority for Government to commit some investment into


improving the bottleneck opt A14. Toll roads, the A14, A11. What do


you think? There are no firm proposals, David Cameron's asked


the Department for Transport to go to look at this and come back in


the autumn. In the meantime we're getting the A14 improvement and


gets the A11 dualed. We are getting a lot of thing that Iical pained


for which Labour failed, your party, you have been critical of the


coalition, perhaps urging us to go faster. But we are delivering on


projects that are important. You're a managing director of Stansted


Airport and we heard the coalition say they're doing what they can.


What is your main challenge? For us it is about Serbty -- certainty.


Infrastructure is a long-term game and we need to know where the


Government is going. We heard the speech from the Prime Minister


about infrastructure. But the fact that it is being talked about is


important for us. Bee, you run a haulage firm and apart from fuel


prices what do you find is one of your main challenges running a


business? One of challenges we have is the planning law, which various


businesses have touched upon, until we untravel that red tape


associated with planning, it is hard to see how we will move


forward quickly. It has become a slow process. Who else is finding


it a problem with red tape here? Businesses and red tape is


something we hear a lot about. Why aren't you make it easier for


businesses? I also run a medium sized business in the east. And yes,


there is red tape. Yes we have got to address some of it. A lot of it


is European, but we make it worse. And it is difficult to operate a


business, if you're a medium sized company, you need so many resources


to look through the red tape, to see how you deal with it. To


actually organise yourself around it. Burr that stops the sort of


growth that we want. Pee Kerr Kendal, president of the -- Peter


Ken Tall, president of the farmers union. Is Rep tape a problem?


farmers want to get out of their office and produce food. We produce


more food than any other region. Farmers are tearing their hair out,


because they can't get planning permission to build reservoirs. You


can't write off reservoirs, the last Government changed taxation


for that investment. Farmers spend too much time tick boxes and


filling forms. Next to you, Alex Paul representing the tourism


industry in the east. We have heard mentions in the conversation about


broadband. Is that something that is proving challenging for you?


the internet is a vital tool for tourism. And the internet for the


businesses in the region is a business tool, a route to market.


And with so many of the businesses in this region being small and


medium, they need a strong, stable broadband to do their business. And


they will lose business to other regions if customers can't reach


them. So it is vital. Ann Glover, we have been talking here about the


private sector. You represent the public sector. You're from Unison.


Challenging times for you? Yes. We have lost thousands of jobs in the


public sector and while we are fortunate to have areas like


Cambridge where you have businesses that are doing well you have got


areas of social deprivation, who rely on the public sector for


employment and you know nothing exists in isolation. If people


haven't got money, they can't spend on the highs and that affects a lot


of small businesses. It's you know, job creation is important. There


needs to be more investment in the public sector. And I don't think we


will get it. But people need to earn a decent wage to have an


income they can spend and that will help to isle the -- oil the wheels


of the a the local economies. co-founded Acorn computers in 1979,


got a huge amount of success and experience behind you. If you were


starting out now, co--- do you think it would be harder or easier?


Much easier. Why? At the time we started there was no venture


capital, there was no knowledge on how to do high technology firm. And


now we have a lot of the infrastructure that we lacked at


the time is in place. So I think now is a better time to start a


high technology company. That sense of optimism is probably not shared


by the 208,000 people who are unemployed. If we look at any


recession, one of the first casualties is jobs. People get


thrown out of work. Many are young people. Between the ages of 16 to


24. So what is being done to save the region's workers from the dole.


Over to our political present. An drue. One of the region's MPs was


saying that the lack of a properly stilled -- skilled workforce is the


biggest problem facing the country. 40% of people in Britain have only


been educated to a pacic skills level. That is a poor set of GCSEs


and that is much higher than many parts of Europe and America and


businesses are finding it hard to recruit staff with the rate skill


and often have to recruit people from overseas. So the Government


has been spending time and money in encouraging apprenticeships. But


some people the problem goes further than that. In Japan every


student studies maths until 18N Korea the figure is 90%. Here just


0% of people study maths until 18. The Government's reviewing the


National Curriculum, but MPs say unless maths and science gets


greater prominence, we will never bridge that skills gap. Thank you.


A lot to talk about there. Let's start by introducing someone who


has experience of being an pri - eapprentice. Zakar Hussain is work


at a construction firm. This is his story. I'm production management


trainee. I started back in 2010. I did go to college, but college


didn't work and I went for an apprenticeship. At school the


problem was that we never got drilled to get apprenticeships, it


was get exams to get into college to do a course. But a lot of us


didn't have a clue what an apprentice ship was. I get funded


to do my degree and I'm progressing and I have a good site time and


then become a project manager. I'm learning what I'm learning and it


is fantastic. Zakar, you feel like you're getting a first class


experience? Yes, first hand experience. I started with an


apprentice and got the foundation grounding and my question would be


to the local MPs, what are they doing for young people. A lot of


people that leave university go to do a degree and get, because they


expect to know when they leave when they don't know. So Richard, what


would Labour do for young people. We did bring back apprenticeships


and good for you and the others that are putting in as much as you


can. Look at the problem with work fair, where the government said


young people should work for nothing. And we had Tescos saying


work on a night shift for nothing. And these companies, even Pound


land walked away from it. That is not a serious support for people,


16,000 in the east east didn't have a job, didn't have training and


weren't in education. You say they are only picking out the bad


expierce. You are talk about the young people, we have had ten


people and given them three full- time jobs. The once we haven't


given jobs have gone away with better CVs. I back companies like


yous, but we would give a national insurance holiday to companies to


give you a reward for bringing them in. That is something the


Government took away. The scheme we have had has been positive. You're


only looking on the negative side. Nick barton from from Stansted


Airport, one of biggest employer in the region. How you finding its


have you got the people. Have you had to make people redundant.


yet. We have had four years of decline the airport is a barometer


for how we feel in terms of air travel is discretionary and when we


feel nerve us about the future, you're inclination to travel is


reduced. Businesses are struggling to justify the expense and we see


that in passengers. The issue for us is protectsing the business we


have and protecting the jobs. There are around 10,000 jobs. How many


are filled by local people? they are. But that has changed we


use Tods struggle to recruit into the airport and we advertised 108


seasonal jobs in the summer. We would struggle to fill the jobs,


last summer we had over 2,000 applicants. So there was no


difficulty filling them. The issue Harriet Fear, biotech industry,


life sciences, is there a skills gap there? Yes there is. Some of


the bigger companies say they are finding real skills gaps at the


high end and are having to look at recruiting from overseas. Then you


get into the whole conundrum of the red tape issued over immigration.


One of the key issues is the fact that students are not taking


science at degree-level whereas many should be. That then stems the


pipeline of individuals coming through with the expertise.


Professor Lloyd reason, you are in the education sector, you teach at


Anglia Ruskin University. You teach entrepreneurial skills, we are


hearing that people are not doing the right degrees and coming


through with the right skills. is crucial that universities do


their part. -- Lester Lloyd-Reason. It is our young, small, high-growth


entrepreneurial businesses that are going to be growing as out of the


economic imbalance. We have got to create the circumstances, provide


the skills for these young entrepreneurial people and their


businesses to achieve their aspirations. Simon Wright, it not


enough being done at the moment to boost our young entrepreneurs?


think we need to do more to encourage young people to continue


with maths. As a former maths teacher myself I find this at a


real shame. By a sign says such as those in Norwich the Teal Park have


an ambition to expand their employees by 5,000 over the next 10


to 15 years. We need to make sure these skills are in place so that


young people can take advantage of the opportunities available.


how have you found it getting the right people in the right jobs?


Easy? The No, it is difficult. Even for this region which has high


educational standards, we still do not have enough influence at school


or university level to educate people in maths, sciences,


technology and Engineering. Are you able to recruit locally? We are.


But we need to recruit a fairly specialist skilled workforce and


about 40% of our employees are here in Cambridge. When we add a few


hundred people worldwide we are adding a significant proportion


here. We are very lucky. We are able to find people. But similar


companies in the region to whom we talk, doing the same sort of thing


and without the brand, they find it much harder. Peter Kendall,


agriculture is an interesting one because a lot of migrant workers


are in the sector? A lot of young people are coming back into farming.


There has been a real shift over the last five or 10 years when


people realise that creating food is going to be important. There


have been some great success stories with farms growing


businesses in this region but we cannot do that without having


migrant workers available. It is as sad tale but we have to have that


otherwise be would not be harvesting the crops we need to


feed deep population. Is that because people locally do not want


to do the jobs? I think we in the farming industry have to


communicate that these jobs are not all low-skilled. A lot of the


farming businesses in the region do depend on that migrant work force


will. What is the one thing that needs to be done to ensure that


your students do succeed in the world? At our university we are


passionate about providing our students with the employability


skills to take control of their own couriers. It is a very different


world from when I left university, then it was about getting a job and


a courier, now it is about giving them enterprising skills and


entrepreneurial skills. They do things that are things they enjoy.


It is very important to give them team leadership skills and a lot of


our management students are here this evening. They are indeed, I am


going to be asking for their take on things later. Before that, what


we are going to do is talk about the Budget. As always, there is


lots of speculation about what might go in it. Are you keeping


your fingers crossed for Wednesday? We are hoping for a few freeze on


the duty. It would be fantastic to think there is a reduction but that


might be too optimistic. It does not just affect industries such as


ours, the logistics industry, everything we buy in the UK at some


point is delivered on a van or truck. It is affecting businesses


in all sectors. It is biting into the pocket of everybody. What has


George Osborne got up his sleeve? One thing I want to make sure he


does his stick to what he said about corporation tax. We are


heading in this country to be the lowest Corporate taxed country in


the whole of the G7. That attracts not only British people to invest


but foreign people to invest as well. That is terribly important. I


also am concerned about fuel. I would like to remind everyone that


if we had stayed with the regime we had we would be paying more and now


per litre. I think he has got something up his sleeve. We will


wait and see what happens on Wednesday but the budget is not


going to be a giveaway Budget, it is going to be tough, but if Labour


were in power you would not have the ability to pick together a


giveaway Budget I there? If our proposals for attacks macro cut


came in that would lower energy costs. If you are going fast in the


wrong direction you should change direction, not change speed. Let me


bring Simon Wright end. A lot of haggling in the coalition about who


would get their way, what about you? I think the economy needs to


see more pounds in people's pockets. The UK is one of the top 10 world


destinations. We need to put money in people's pockets to help the


retail sector. Do you support the income-tax hike? I want to ensure


that after this but in the wealthy are paying their fair share and


that those on low pay are taken out of the tax system as much as


possible. I would like to see what some of you around the room are


hoping for or think should be in Wednesday's budget. I personally


hope there will be a focus on local authorities being given more


control over their, more focus on their town centres. More control


for local authorities? What is your wish list for the Budget? One wish,


please. I would hope for the parliament to think longer term. We


do not have wealth-creation if we are always fiddling with the next


few years and not looking at the international competitiveness of


our economy. And what would you like to see? I would like to carry


on with the emphasis on schools. This is the way forward. Growth


will come from lower down and anything that will help will be


fantastic. I would like to see investment in jobs so that we have


people earning a decent wage. would like to get a bit of a sense


from our economy students here tonight. Not just economy students


but business leaders perhaps entrepreneur's and business leaders


of the future. If you are feeling less optimistic about the future


can you put your hands up? And if you are feeling more a? That is


what we wanted. And I can hear an audible sigh of relief all around


because let's face it, if those guys are not optimistic, we are


really going to be in trouble. We have heard a lot of use tonight


from a lot of different people. You have experience and a good deal of


success behind you. Seated either side of you are two young people


about to make their way in the world of work, what would you


advise be to them? My advice is go for it. What we do not have enough


of his this entrepreneurial spirit of people starting their own


businesses and creating employment. Ironically, during periods of


economic hardship which we are going through at the moment, some


very good people are being made redundant. Fortunately, they do not


Download Subtitles