The current shortage of trained engineers creates a challenge for the future of UK engineering, with uncertainty for businesses that need engineering talent to deliver on new projects and grow profits. I urge the politicians not to forget about the 'march of the makers' as they run for the ballots.
No one is perfect. Yes, even you, budding entrepreneur! Because even though your idea may be perfect, and you're undoubtedly the best person to develop it, that doesn't make you bulletproof. So before you get going, consider these 9 mistakes all entrepreneurs make when they're starting out.
Government must take the lead on infrastructure. Creating thought out, integrated transport links within our top ten cities would be a start. Turning each into a mini London in terms of linking remote areas of each city.
If the makers had done a bit more research they would have discovered that as a company Sports Direct actually look after their long-serving workers, rewarding loyalty with shares and bonus schemes which can then be converted to hard cash.
If you really want staff your staff to be loyal, you have to enable their development at every step of their career. That involves supporting them to do their current job, helping them progress on that job, and eventually, helping them to move onto the next job.
Paying homage to those women and encouraging them to speak up and inspire the younger generations is precisely what we also do with the Inspiring Women Campaign and that is why I decided to support the WIE network (and yes, I am doing this in the middle of a general election - and no, it is not an oversight). Because no matter your age, your skills or your background, every woman has an inner role model and it is the duty of every woman of my generation to stand up for young girls.
People are working longer hours, often in more stressful situations. This demands far more mental and physical resilience. Yet the topic of mental health still carries a stigma in many organisations. Individuals don't disclose their condition for fear of reprisal, and the assumptions colleagues might make.
A woman may have the same qualifications or experience as a man, but won't project herself as forcefully. I was talking with an American friend about this recently and his view was that if you can't sell yourself successfully, how can you sell an idea?
More than nine million women failed to vote in the last general election, compared to eight million men, research carried out by the House of Commons Library has shown. But why is this? We have found that the reasons behind the gender gap in voting closely relates to the reasons behind the gender gap in business.
Working as a CEO mentor for over 18 years now, I have had the privilege of working with a number of truly inspirational 'greats'. The two traits that they all have though, are gravitas and charisma. They know their stuff and they emit an aura - even the shy ones.
Enterprise and financial education in schools is vital if we're to have a chance of improving our economic prospects. If implemented now, a national initiative for enterprise and financial education could help us to produce future generations of motivated, confident, work-ready young people with the skills to succeed, innovate and increase the UK's productivity. Surely this is an investment worth making.
Of the six thousand co-ops in the UK, the Co-operative Group is often the one to hit the headlines, and over the last eighteen months, despite a recent return to profit, often also for the wrong reasons...
We must petition strongly to prevent this policy becoming permanent, in order to protect our towns and high streets.
I've previously heard some people refer to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford as the 'Oscars of Social Enterprise' - an annual glitzy affair with celebrities and influential figures coming from across the globe to celebrate themselves and drink champagne...
I hate mums. I love my own mum. She's lovely. I love my wife, who's also a mum. Oh, and also lovely. These mums, I love to bits. Not literally. The mums I hate are those collectively used as a depictor or descriptor of who does the childcare.
In short, it's about getting up early, driving your business forward and remaining motivated. Then, in time, you'll be the one they're asking for advice.