Steve Martin, head of the Fire and Security Association (FSA), has welcomed plans for cutting red tape, supporting small businesses on late payment and protecting apprenticeships that have been outlined in the Government’s new Enterprise Bill.
“Broadly speaking,” said Martin, “the measures outlined in the Enterprise Bill confirm the Government’s desire to pursue a policy that recognises and supports businesses at the heart of the UK’s economic growth.”
He continued: “The creation of the Small Business Commissioner is welcome. By their very nature, smaller businesses are unwilling to take clients to court over payment issues as they fear the repercussions it could have for their ability to win work in the future. This service aims to provide a means for small businesses to resolve payment issues without resorting to the courts. It’s a welcome addition to the armoury against poor payment.”
However, Martin went on to state that this particular move from Westminster is “only part of the answer” as far as supply chain payment problems are concerned, with the most effective route still being to criminalise late payment and introduce tough business sanctions for those who indulge in this practice.
Martin told Risk UK: “The Government’s plans to protect the term ‘apprenticeship’ highlight its desire to continue to strengthen the term, build the apprenticeship brand and make sure that employers lead on apprenticeship content. This move is crucial at a time when apprenticeship funds are finite and when skilled engineering sectors such as our own are in great need. It should ensure that public money is only spent on apprenticeships where an approved and structured training programme is in place.”
Martin has also welcomed the Conservative’s plans to cut red tape. “Red tape is a continual burden on many contractors and a significant waste of time and resources. We hope the Government takes this further in future and outlines plans to cut ‘blue tape’- in other words, paperwork costs ranged on business by other businesses – as this also greatly impedes productivity, growth and profits. With fewer burdens imposed on them, businesses can be more innovative which will then help them – and, indeed, the economy – to grow in the future.”
The FSA was founded in 2007 as a specialist group of the Electrical Contractors’ Association. The FSA represents ECA members who are involved in the business of designing, installing, commissioning, maintaining and monitoring electronic fire and security systems.
The FSA also partners with Scottish trade body SELECT on specific fire and security-related issues.