Business leaders meet Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero

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BANKS not lending money and a skills shortage among young people were some of the issues raised by business leaders at a meeting on Friday.

Representatives from a number of firms in the area met with Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero at an event organised by the Chamber of Commerce.

At the conference, which took place at Yusen Logistics in Sutton, bosses said that small businesses were struggling to secure loans from the banks and said that young people were not entering the jobs market with the right skills, particularly in the engineering sector.

They also highlighted the problems they faced in securing funding from the Regional Growth Fund, which is designed to support businesses and projects which create sustainable economic growth.

Speaking afterwards, Miss De Piero said: “This was a really invaluable meeting and I’ve come away with a number of very important issues which I now plan take to ministers and ensure they are aware of the problems facing businesses here in Ashfield.

“I was particularly alarmed to hear of the difficulties that firms have had accessing cash that the Government have put aside to help areas like ours. This can’t be right”

“The business leaders I met today told me how they would love local youngsters to consider a career in manufacturing and engineering because there are some great jobs out there in that sector.

“It’s a hugely competitive job market and unemployment is high so we need to make sure that young people have skills businesses are demanding.”