In the news: SMB production rises & National Apprentice Week

It's good to start the week with some positive news. On the BBC website today is a story on improved production within small businesses in the quarter to January - attributed to an increased demand for UK-made goods. The rise is counter-balanced by the rise in prices for these goods as SMBs are facing cost pressures.

You can read the full story here.

And as National Apprentice Week starts, Business Secretary Vince Cable is calling on firms to hire an additional 100,000 apprentices by 2010.

Investment in training the next generation of highly-skilled workers is key to Britain’s economic growth, Vince Cable says.

“Apprenticeships are a first-class way to start a career. Some of the most prestigious companies in England – large and small, public and private – employ apprentices and benefit from doing so.”

More on this story in Real Business.

And I'm going to mention Microsoft's Britain Works initiative here too, helping 16-24 year olds into work by developing their skills. You can learn more about how we're doing this on the Britain Works website.

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