ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The publication of an industrial strategy green paper shows a welcome readiness on the Government’s part to engage with, and support, UK businesses. We hope that much of it can filter through to the licensed hospitality sector which is an integral part of the UK’s economy. The Government has rightly identified the country’s food and drink sector as an important strategic growth champion. It is a sector that has created almost half of all new jobs since the financial crash.
“The Government has identified skills development as key to ensuring people are employable. The Government should be aware that not all these skills need be technical or scientific. Soft skills are essential for a prosperous economy and can ensure that employers find the right staff members and that employees secure the jobs that are available.
“A strategy that supports burgeoning businesses, provides them with access to finance, and allows them to flourish is crucial. Much of this can be achieved by unburdening employers through a rethink of a business rates system that currently penalises success and deters growth.
“The Government has stated that is keen to strengthen public institutions and review local authorities and other bodies to support industries. Uniformity on licensing across local authorities can help streamline operations for businesses that have multiple sites spread throughout the country. If local authorities can work with businesses in the area, and place greater emphasis on collaboration and partnership, then pubs and bars can play a crucial role in achieving the Government’s aim of driving growth across the whole country.