REC says Enterprise Zone lessons must be learnt

According to the Work Foundation the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone (now known as Canary Wharf) had only 7,000 people employed in the area at the expiry of the zone compared with 90,000 today. The key to success it says is investment in infrastructures and not the enterprise zones themselves.

William Chase, the founder of the Chase Distillery and Tyrrells Crisps said that “The Thatcher Government wasted huge amounts of cash on Enterprise Zones in the 80’s. They didn’t work then and I don’t see any reason why they should work now. Spending Government money on supporting British companies who are struggling to enter the export market would prove far more cost effective.”

The Recruitment and Employment Confederations Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, said that “This latest policy initiative certainly has a retro feel to it. The true test will be whether the new generation of Enterprise Zones can achieve more than their predecessors. Specific action in areas where economic growth has traditionally lagged may well enhance the outlook for recruitment activity in these regions. However, the Government must demonstrate that these new Zones build on the lessons from the past and can really deliver investment and new jobs. In addition, we will need to monitor any ‘side-effects’ for employers and recruiters in adjoining areas that do not fall within an ‘Enterprise Zone’. Incentives to help employers and boost job creation, such as reducing business rates, will be welcomed by entrepreneurs and established businesses around the country. However, there is now a real impatience within the recruitment industry and the business community as a whole for Government announcements to translate into tangible progress on the ground.”

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