Apprenticeship Levy – The Unwelcome Change

Misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships are beginning to change, albeit slowly. A 2018 survey carried out by The Sutton Trust revealed 64% of young people are more interested in undertaking an apprenticeship than studying for a degree – up 9% from four years prior. One of the leading assumptions is that apprenticeships provide lower-quality career prospects than … Read more

Rising Commercial Property Prices

commercial property

Following the collapse of the financial services sector in 2007, office blocks across the land became empty as businesses closed. Simultaneously the demand for homes became a major agenda item for the Conservative Party. Changes to Permitted Development Rights (PDR) were considered necessary to deal with unused office space and assist with providing residential opportunities … Read more

Negative Steps in the UK Housing Market

biz4Biz Co-Founder & Chairman Adrian Hawkins gives us his thoughts on the UK housing market, and why we need new settlements in the style of Hertfordshire towns like Stevenage.

Responding to a direct question raised by local MP Bim Afolami in Parliament, Alok Sharma MP and DCLG Minister stated, “The Homes and Community Agency will expand to become Homes England… (with) a clear remit to facilitate delivery of sufficient new homes… and deliver a sustained improvement in affordability.” The main issue here though is the reference to affordability.

The Government has produced a white paper on the UK housing market which appears to attempt to support the belief that in areas of high average house prices (calculated by dividing the value of the average wage into the value of the average house locally) they will increase the volume of homes built by a set factor to ensure a reduction in local house price value. My concern is that the average house price is linked to the real value of the average person’s wealth, and in many ways underpins the essence of our consumer-driven economy.

Read moreNegative Steps in the UK Housing Market

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A look at the UK skills gap as 2017 draws to a close

The UK skills gap sees British companies short 20,000 engineers and technicians every year. This means we will be in need of 1.8 million by 2025. The struggle to find qualified employees costs businesses £2 billion per year. A shocking 90% of employers have reported struggling to recruit employees in the last 12 months. In … Read more

Hertfordshire is one of the best for prosperity and inclusion

The Government has decided that in 2020, business rates, currently valued at £23bn nationally, will be paid to local authorities rather than delivered to central government as they are now.  Written by Adrian Hawkins, Co-founder & Chairman biz4Biz, Chairman Weldability Sif (established 1925), Director & Trustee of the Weldability Sif Foundation, Main Board Member Herts … Read more

A cold wind is blowing through Hertfordshire’s high streets

As the post-Christmas sales figures are published, it is clear there are a few winners and a lot of losers …. written by Tim Baugh, Director of biz4Biz and Managing Director, Howardsgate. For businesses in the retail sector, Christmas is a make or break time of the year. As the post-Christmas sales figures are published, … Read more

Devolution Now

A real opportunity to take advantage of current central Government thinking … written by Adrian Hawkins, Co-founder and Chairman of biz4Biz, Chairman, Weldability Sif (established 1925), Director and Trustee of the Weldability Sif Foundation, Main Board Member, Herts LEP, Chair of the Skills and Employment Board, Chairman and Trustee of the Hart Schools Trust. 2016 … Read more

UK competitiveness threatened by a skills shortage

A skills shortage threatens the competitiveness of the UK written by Tim Baugh, biz4Biz director and partner at marketing agency Howardsgate. The UK government has finally announced that the Hinkley Point power station will go ahead with expertise and financial backing from France and China. At the same time, contracts are being put out to … Read more

The private sector to the rescue

Science in Hertfordshire

Written by Adrian Hawkins, Co-Founder and Chairman biz4Biz, Chairman Weldability Sif, Director and Trustee of the Weldability Sif Foundation, Herts LEP Main Board Director, Chairman of the North Herts Studio Schools Trust and Director of the North Herts College. The Private sector is credited with creating 2.1 million new jobs in the past 5 years … Read more