The new government has promised to help working people, introducing legislation that will create new jobs and take the financial burden off the poorest citizens, Queen Elizabeth II announced in her speech today (Wednesday).

Unsurprisingly, the first bill Her Majesty read focused on the Conservatives’ long-term plan to clear the deficit, but employment issues were also high on the agenda with the promise of providing more people with the security of a job:

New duties will require my ministers to report annually on job creation and apprenticeships. Measures will also be introduced to reduce regulation on small businesses so they can create jobs.

Zee Hussain, partner at Colemans-ctts and Head of the Employment Department, feels that investment in young people’s skills will ensure unemployment figures continue to fall:

“Increasing the available number of apprenticeship programs with three million further vacancies will clearly reap many benefits. The creation of job and career opportunities is instrumental for those seeking to get into work by helping to improve their employability. This scheme, which would be funded by reducing the benefit cap to £23,000.00 will also be key to the ongoing struggle of reducing unemployment figures in the UK.”

Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, believes that this policy will also benefit independent workers:

“Today the Government sent a clear message that it is committed to backing businesses of all sizes. Supporting people who choose to be self-employed will be crucial to Government achieving its ambition of full employment.

“The number of self-employed people has risen dramatically over the past five years and we now have 4.5 million people working this way across the UK. This sector of the labour market will be essential to the continued growth of the economy and we welcome the focus this Government is giving to businesses, in particular through its Enterprise Bill.”

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, says that increasing apprenticeships will be meaningless if the focus is on numbers rather than quality.

“Numbers don’t mean anything unless apprenticeships offer a quality teaching and learning experience for every apprentice. If reaching targets becomes more important than ensuring quality, apprenticeships could lose their credibility and the progress we’ve made so far will be undone. If we get the quality right, the numbers will come.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s focus on matching increased employment with increased productivity. Investment in skills development and training is one of the best ways to boost output per worker, benefiting the individual, the employer and the economy. Encouraging and developing a national culture of lifelong learning will go a long way towards a lasting solution to reverse the stagnating productivity trend.”

Legislation will be brought forward to ensure people working 30 hours a week on the National Minimum Wage do not pay income tax, and to ensure there are no rises in Income Tax rates, Value Added Tax or National Insurance for the next five years.

Chris Bryce says:

“The self-employed will welcome the Government’s commitment to delivering a low tax environment. A favourable tax regime gives the self-employed the confidence to invest in and grow their business.”

Continue to part 2.

Title image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.