Helping local businesses create local jobs

In times of difficulty, businesses in Manchester need all the help they can get to create jobs. And they are getting plenty of government help.

The £200 million Regional Growth Fund announced by Nick Clegg will certainly help. This funding will create at least 20,000 jobs in Manchester. This is great news - showing despite Labour nearly bankrupting the country - we are prioritising jobs and growth.

The City Deal and money for "Super-Connectivity" announced in the budget and proclaimed a "Game Changer" for Manchester, according to Sir Howard Bernstein.

I blogged last week about the Greater Manchester Green Deal, launched at Siemens by Lib Dem minister Ed Davey and announcing a plan that will mean more sustainijobs, more money and more industry for the people of Manchester.

And I have been involved in the push for more local apprenticeships. Locally numbers doubled last year, and I recently wrote to 900 local businesses asking them to consider employing an apprentice.

And this week, an e-mail dropped into my inbox this week about a new competition aimed at supporting local businesses. The email, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is offering free consultancy to businesses here in Manchester - up to £20,000 worth! It's all part of a competition called 'Manufacturing Excellence'.

 The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is a hugely influential body. It was established in 1847 and has over 100,000 members, representing mechanical engineers involved in a diversity of fields such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.

I hope local businesses will apply and take advantage of the programme. Entry is free and there is up to £20,000 free consultancy advice up for grabs, as well as the chance to win at the Arup sponsored 'Manufacturing Excellence Awards' in November.  It would be great to see a winner from Manchester this year!

For more information, and to apply, go to

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