Unemployment is always at the heart of the news agenda and last month people began eulogising over a five year low of 2.2 million in the UK. This is of course great news, the more people we have in employment, the more stable our economy is and this can only drive further growth.
However, we can't simply sit back and enjoy these statistics as I fear we are on the verge of a landslide that could see us head straight back into recession. Small businesses need to be the engine driving economic growth, offering job opportunities for graduates and increasing the employment rate as they grow. Despite this, the level of support offered to these companies is pitiful to say the least.
Why so serious?
Recent pledges by the government to support the growth of the UK's small businesses are simply not working and our research has shown this, with a quarter of small businesses admitting they are reluctant to take on employees because it might complicate the payroll. The pressure of red tape is not only stifling business growth but it has the potential to significantly lower the amount of job prospects available for the highly skilled people graduating from the excellent universities across the country.
It may not stop there either, if the amount of graduate jobs decreases due to small businesses refusing to employ new staff, students could be put off going to university at all, especially with tuition fees now hitting £9,000 a year as a standard. To make such an investment in their future and possibly reap absolutely no rewards for doing so could be enough to put off even the most determined of budding students.
Of course, if both the number of employment opportunities and the number of students in the country drop simultaneously, it would only be a matter of time until we slide back into a recession, all because the government isn't doing anywhere near enough to support what should be the backbone of our economy. Quite simply, it isn't good enough.
The zombie government must spring to life
The term 'zombie government' has been banded around since the Queen's Speech earlier this month due to a lack of new bills and it does feel as if the coalition is resting on its laurels somewhat. Her Majesty's speech was the last chance for the coalition government to show exactly how it wants to better our country, and although the strengthening of pension schemes was much needed, so much more is required.
The repercussions of failing to support business growth in the right way could be felt for many years to come. Without support for small businesses, the country will inevitably spiral into another recession as stifling business growth will lead to a significant economic downfall. If we want to avoid falling back into the slump that has plagued us since 2008, the government must take action before it is too late.