Lord Young is appointed today as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Enterprise, a new role that will ensure the economic contribution that small and medium-sized businesses make and the issues they face are recognised at the very heart of government.
As his first task, the Prime Minister has asked Lord Young to write a “brutally honest” report examining how government departments interact with and affect small businesses.
The Prime Minister, today, said:
I feel very strongly about the need to do everything we can to help and promote small and medium-sized businesses. They provide nearly 60 per cent of our jobs and half of our GDP.
As I said in my speech to the Confederation of British Industry, enterprise is crucial to our strategy for a new economic dynamism.
This Government has already taken action to back small businesses. But there is so much more that we need to do to back up our commitment to make this country one of the best in the world to start, run and grow a small business.
I am seeking nothing less than a wholesale change in attitude from my Government and I need help to get there. So I am delighted that Lord Young has agreed to be my Enterprise Adviser; he’ll be working to identify what we need to do to help small businesses grow. He brings his own passion for business and a wealth of experience to the role.
This work would address how all government departments interact with and impact on small businesses, focusing on areas of greatest concern and would include how government can:
- encourage start ups: how government can remove barriers and encourage more people to start business, including reviewing an institutional bias towards people seeking jobs rather than working for themselves (e.g. in careers advice and vocational training);
- remove burdens: ways in which government can remove barriers to growth faced by small (and medium) firms and remove or minimise regulatory and bureaucratic burdens which increase costs and hassle;
- maximise opportunities: ways in which Government departments and the public sector can support growth of small (and medium) businesses, for example through reforming Government procurement, ensuring access to finance, and support for trade and investment; and
- improve engagement with small businesses: how government listens to SMEs in shaping and implementing policy and how government communicates with SMEs to provide simple, clear guidance and advice.
Lord Young said:
I am delighted to accept this new appointment. I’ll be focusing on what barriers government policy have been put in the way of small business development and helping to advise on what can be done to make life easier for businesses to start and grow.
Notes for Editors
The appointment will be unpaid.
This appointment complements the advisory role Lord Young holds on health and safety law and practice. He recently published his report Common Sense, Common Safety following a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture.
The Rt Hon the Lord Young of Graffham PC DL graduated from University College London before becoming a solicitor. He spent a year in the profession before moving on to run a number of successful businesses. He became Secretary of State for Employment in 1985 and in 1987 became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade. He was Executive Chairman of Cable and Wireless pic from 1990 to 1995 and thereafter Chairman of Young Associates Ltd, which invests in new technologies.