In times of difficulty, businesses in Manchester need all the help they can get to create jobs. And they are getting plenty of government help.
The £200 million Regional Growth Fund announced by Nick Clegg will certainly help. This funding will create at least 20,000 jobs in Manchester. This is great news – showing despite Labour nearly bankrupting the country – we are prioritising jobs and growth.
The City Deal and money for “Super-Connectivity” announced in the budget and proclaimed a “Game Changer” for Manchester, according to Sir Howard Bernstein.
I blogged last week about the Greater Manchester Green Deal, launched at Siemens by Lib Dem minister Ed Davey and announcing a plan that will mean more sustainijobs, more money and more industry for the people of Manchester.
And I have been involved in the push for more local apprenticeships. Locally numbers doubled last year, and I recently wrote to 900 local businesses asking them to consider employing an apprentice.
And this week, an e-mail dropped into my inbox this week about a new competition aimed at supporting local businesses. The email, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is offering free consultancy to businesses here in Manchester – up to £20,000 worth! It’s all part of a competition called ‘Manufacturing Excellence’.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is a hugely influential body. It was established in 1847 and has over 100,000 members, representing mechanical engineers involved in a diversity of fields such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.
I hope local businesses will apply and take advantage of the programme. Entry is free and there is up to £20,000 free consultancy advice up for grabs, as well as the chance to win at the Arup sponsored ‘Manufacturing Excellence Awards’ in November. It would be great to see a winner from Manchester this year!
For more information, and to apply, go to www.mxawards.org