B2 4. Promoting Enterprise a) We welcome the priority on promoting enterprise and particularly the focus on stimulating higher levels of entrepreneurship in the private sector in order to improve competitiveness and productivity.
b) Given that Northern Ireland has the lowest level of productivity in the UK it is imperative that innovative measures are taken to increase productivity. This is extremely important if Northern Ireland is to be competitive in an ever increasing global marketplace. In addition, we would welcome initiatives to reduce the burden of red tape on business.
Northern Ireland has high educational attainment levels, but suffers greatly from the ‘brain drain’. We would welcome initiatives which seek to encourage graduates into local companies and incentives which seek to retain skills in Northern Ireland.
Councils in Northern Ireland are already acting as important catalysts in local communities, not only by bringing together local businesses and further education colleges but also by delivering for micro enterprises in the rural economy through local action groups. We would like to ensure that funding will be available to build on this important work.
We would also welcome a strong focus on entrepreneurship in the new programmes. Better promotion of entrepreneurship throughout the education system is needed and we would welcome initiatives that provide school leavers with appropriate support to become entrepreneurs.