Did you know: 55% of small businesses here in Berwick-upon-Tweed have been trading for over a decade, compared to 39% elsewhere in the country, and it was a pleasure to visit one of them recently – Allan Brothers, the longest established window company in the UK!
As well as a great tour from factory manager – and RNLI Berwick upon Tweed Lifeboats station Coxswain Robert Frost! – I talked with the Managing Director about investment being made to help their business grow and the company becoming members of the The Guild of Master Craftsmen as well as the impact of the war in Ukraine on material costs and supply, and the need to find solutions to recruit new staff.
Their fantastic ‘Allan Bros Opening Doors’ back-to-work training programme was a wonderful example, and it was a delight to meet one of their apprentices too. I’m proud that this Government believes in playing its part too, such as the apprenticeship levy the Department for Work and Pensions introduced in 2017:
- £2.5 billion for investment in apprenticeships in 2020-21, double the cash spent in 2010-11, and increasing to £2.7 billion by 2024/25
- 9.7% increase in the Apprentice National Minimum Wage last month
- 160,000 ‘Kickstart’ scheme jobs created for young people 2020-22
- £2.9 billion ‘Restart Scheme’ to help over a million people find work through tailored support.
Allan Brothers is just one of the many fantastic businesses based in our constituency. If you know of others, applications are now open for The King's Awards for Enterprise 2024 – recognising outstanding business achievements in innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.
Winners will be visited by one of The King’s representatives, be able to fly The King’s Awards flag at your office and use the emblem on your marketing materials. Past winning businesses have reported worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale.
Applications are open until 12th September 2023, with more information at: gov.uk/kings-awards-for-enterprise