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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and fdf (Foundation Degree Forward) have joined forces to offer more support to smaller businesses facing skills gap issues. Foundation degrees offer businesses the chance of improving the professional standards of their staff with minimal disruption to productivity. The courses offer local delivery, distance-learning, part time and e-learning opportunities to provide maximum flexibility in study patterns to fit around workforce commitments.

The CBI has called on the government to improve the way it communicates its economic recovery plans, which lack a coherent strategy and timeline. Richard Lambert, CBI Director-General, said the government should take a lesson from the Obama administration’s approach and set up a website to explain in detail the importance, timeframes and effects of recovery initiatives, and to track their progress.

A survey of senior business executives of top retail and FMCG companies, associated with The Gap Partnership brought predictions of a significant consolidation of the retail sector as stronger retailers will capitalise on the opportunity to acquire businesses with financial problems. The majority of respondents (72%) forecasted a dramatic consolidation of the market. 33% also predicted that the fashion segment will be hit the hardest, with electrical and telecoms falling close behind.

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