Commenting on the David Cameron’s speech outlining the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges for jobs and enterprise, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“Full employment should be a goal for any government, but it can only be achieved when Britain’s businesses are firing on all cylinders. The best way to achieve full employment is to create the conditions that enable businesses to grow and take on staff, so the Prime Minister’s focus on infrastructure, access to finance and preparing people for the world of work is surely right.

“As an economy that relies on knowledge and skills, training our young people is as important as the infrastructure of our nation such as our roads, railways and airports. Yet the quality of apprenticeships matters more to businesses than the number delivered, because excellent apprentices will mean more and more demand for them in firms across the UK.

“Start-up loans are excellent, but the bigger prize is ensuring that growing companies – many of which have been around for years – can get the finance they need to grow. The long standing structural problems facing business finance, which successive governments have failed to address, desperately require a once and for all fundamental review. Until this takes place, we will continue to have an underdeveloped medium-sized business sector, since the current environment stifles the growth aspirations of small businesses. This is vitally important as medium-sized businesses have the potential to deliver significant jobs growth and fix our poor export performance.