6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

OxLEP paints a continued bright economic picture for Oxfordshire at Venturefest

PUBLISHED: 13:11 22 June 2017

(c) OxLep

(c) OxLep

Archant

Oxfordshire continues to generate hundreds of new jobs and attract new businesses, despite Brexit and election result uncertainty

The chief executive of OxLEP – the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire – has today said that despite Brexit and a surprise general election result, Oxfordshire’s economy remains strong and continues to grow.

As leading business figures gathered at Venturefest Oxford (June 21), OxLEP’s Nigel Tipple said that despite no majority government being secured at this month’s general election – coupled with the start of Brexit negotiations – the county’s economic outlook remains a positive one.

Nigel Tipple, OxLEP Chief Executive (c) Fisher StudiosNigel Tipple, OxLEP Chief Executive (c) Fisher Studios

Citing a continued growth in new jobs for Oxfordshire – as well as many new businesses setting-up home in the county – Mr Tipple believes that the county’s economy remains one of the most agile in the UK.

Mr Tipple said: “In Oxfordshire – we have continued to grow our economy dynamically, with the creation of 45,000 new jobs over the past five years.

“This represents over 50% of our 2031 target of 85,600 new jobs and – perhaps more importantly – provides our businesses with the capacity to rise to the challenge of a post-Brexit economy.

“In addition to this, we have also seen the number of VAT-registered businesses in the county go up by 8.5% between 2014 and 2016.”

However – despite the continued growth in new jobs – Mr Tipple acknowledges that many will feel nervous, unsure just how Brexit negotiations will develop over the coming months, but is keen to reassure the business community.

He added: “Undoubtedly, the primary concern for all businesses – whether small, national or international – is what type of Brexit is likely to be struck, but it appears likely a softer one than many perhaps thought.

“In her manifesto, Theresa May committed to creating ‘a strong economy built on sound public finances, low taxes, better regulation and free trade deals with markets around the world.’ Clearly – it would appear the prime minister has an appetite for a global future, encouraging trade with countries from outside of the EU and aiming to create conditions for this to happen.

“That said – as is the case with any incoming government – the ‘proof is in the pudding’ and like all Oxfordshire-based organisations, OxLEP will continue to follow developments closely.”

Mr Tipple added that there are many continued opportunities for Oxfordshire businesses – including around 400 businesses in the county, set to pay the apprenticeship levy.

He believes that the apprenticeship market will play a key role in economic growth for the county and is encouraging all businesses – and not just those eligible for the levy – to see the benefits of running an effective apprenticeship programme, particularly those willing to pay a ‘fair wage’.

Mr Tipple believes that this message is already resonating with many Oxfordshire employers.

He said: “In early-May, we reviewed 40 apprenticeship vacancies – all Oxfordshire-based and chosen at random. It revealed an average wage of £4.81 an hour, which is significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £3.50 per hour.

“Many ‘living wage’ employers already have effective apprentice salary structures – such as the University of Oxford, who pay their apprentices a starting wage of £8.25 per hour.

“By paying the national minimum wage, Oxfordshire businesses are better-placed to attract talented, young people and in-turn, gain an edge on competitors as well as creating loyalty between business and employee – acknowledging the long-term training investment that is being made.”

Another key role of OxLEP is to secure central government funding for Oxfordshire via growth funds – it has obtained over £200m for the Oxfordshire economy since its inception in 2011.

Currently – OxLEP is encouraging rural businesses to apply for £2.5m of Rural Development Programme for England funding, supporting business growth and the generation of new jobs in rural communities.

Applications for funding are set to close next January.

Mr Tipple said: “We have rich rural geography including an impressive legacy in creativity, culture, heritage and tourism.

“This funding can be given to develop projects that are important for the economic sustainability of our rural communities – and we are keen to receive applications from businesses who meet the funding criteria.

“Away from this, businesses can also benefit from many free workshops – via our OxLEP Business team – providing first-class training and skills development, helping organisations to become more agile and supporting any ambition they have to grow.”

OxLEP is one of 38 local enterprise partnerships in England and – through its work – aims to link businesses, local authorities and academia from across Oxfordshire.

For more information on OxLEP, visit the website here.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Cotswold Life

Fri, 10:35

“‘Flexitarians’ can do one though, being alleged vegetarians who still can’t resist the sizzling siren song of the bacon sandwich when no-one is looking.” Editor Mike Lowe is attempting to seek reconciliation with those he has annoyed… well, sort of.

Read more
Thu, 14:24

Choral carol services and grand instrumental performances, with the backdrop of some of the Cotswolds most picturesque locations, are perfect ways to embrace the festivities. We pick some of the best carol services and concerts to enjoy in the region

Read more
Thu, 11:35

“This letting to Oxford nanoSystems is a fantastic example of how we are able to provide first class facilities for growing technology companies at Abingdon Business Park.”

Read more
Thu, 11:28

One of the UK’s leading training and education specialists has launched a skills hub in Nuneaton

Read more
Thu, 11:19

“The logistics hub is another example of where we have worked in partnership to support skills needs in the area and link our student body with future job opportunities.”

Read more
Thu, 11:07

“It was fantastic to see how this project is making a real difference to the lives of young people at risk of social exclusion.”

Read more
Thu, 10:57

It has become the 90th store to accept the gift card in Cheltenham

Read more

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Wed, 15:59

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas Fayres and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in and around the Cotswolds this season

Read more
Wed, 15:42

Property prices across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have risen steadily over the last few years, reflecting the trend across the country. But which area has shown the most dramatic hike in prices recently, and how does your postcode and house type compare with others in the area? You may be surprised to see the results...

Read more
Wed, 11:43

Wine Wednesday’s with Vintopia of Tetbury.

Read more
Wed, 10:37

Festive a la carte menu launches in Grey’s Brasserie from 26th November.

Read more
Wed, 09:31

Cotswold Life readers enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with our compliments when joining us for our Autumn Feast Lunch Offer.

Read more
Tue, 15:01

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search