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London Business Matters

February 2017 News 3 LCCI urges London-bound rail services move to TfL Following the news that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP has decided not to hand over the running of suburban rail services to Transport for London (TfL), LCCI has said that the move is a backward step. The Chamber has repeatedly called for the move in an effort to improve reliability and punctuality for commuters and avoid damaging the economy. LCCI chief executive, Colin Stanbridge said: “We are extremely disappointed in this decision by Chris Grayling. Under the previous government we had seen the real possibility of coming to a sensible arrangement where the management of London-bound rail services was transferred to TfL. “We had hoped that this could be done so as soon as possible to deliver real improvements in frequency and reliability. “Instead we are left in the same intolerable situation where passengers are subject to delays and cancellations with horrendous costs to the economy. “Many people have little choice but to live outside London because of housing prices and are forced to rely on commuter trains offering a substandard service day in day out.” Damaging December’s Southern rail strikes emphasised the case for devolution and a bigger transport role for the Mayor, as well as damaging the economy. Commenting on the industrial action in the run-up to Christmas Stanbridge said: “These strikes are highly damaging to the economy with staff being delayed or not even able to get into work at all. And at this time of year there is undoubtedly an effect on retailers and the night time economy as people may be reluctant to travel into central London. Collaboration needed to boost apprenticeship take-up The main barriers to businesses in London employing apprentices are lack of resources, an absence of knowledge of the legal requirements or an inability to find those with the right skills, an LCCI report has found. The findings come from a recent ComRes poll after a previous survey had discovered that at the end of 2015 only six per cent of businesses surveyed employed an apprentice. In addition 77 per cent of businesses surveyed in 2015 not only did not currently employ an apprentice but had never done so and did not intend to in the future. LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge said: “We were very concerned to note the low take up of apprentices in London as we believe they have a central role to play in closing the widening cross-sector skills gaps across the UK. “This is why we commissioned the new research and now that we are more aware of the reasons behind business reluctance the government needs to educate businesses of the benefits of hiring apprentices.” You’re not hired! The latest survey into the reasons behind the lack of apprentices found: • Over a third of London businesses say that not having the financial resources to train and manage an apprentice is one of the main barriers to their hiring • A similar number said they did not have the necessary human resources available • Not knowing what the legal requirements are to hire an apprentice affected 23 per cent of companies polled • Over a fifth said not being able to find apprenticeship candidates with the necessary skills to fulfil their businesses’ needs was a barrier • 16 per cent did not know where to go to hire an apprentice. LCCI Member Companies get a Health Plan, EAP and HSF Perkbox for £5 per employee a month! With HSF health plan your employees can get affordable health cover which includes HSF Assist,® our Employee Assistance Programme, and covers their family at no extra cost. All HSF health plan schemes also include HSF Perkbox. With HSF Perkbox your employees get access to hundreds of discounts from a wide variety of places. Contact us today and find out how we can help your company. 0800 917 2208 Quoting LBM eMail: marketing@hsf.eu.com www.hsf.co.uk Dental Optical Hospital Stay Practitioner GP Consult Including some Including contact Including Physiotherapy 24 hours a day cosmetic dentistry lenses Prescription Service Discounted Gym Membership Savings on Days Out Discounted Shopping Discounted Cinema NHS & Private Plus many more benefits HSF Perkbox Powered by LBM Jan 2017 Ad.qxp_Layout 1 19/01/2017 15:37 Page 1 Click/tap for more info 220304-2-17LBM HSF Health Plan.indd 1 19/01/2017 16:14


London Business Matters
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