SmallBizPod #33 – overcoming the business skills shortage

Jo Ray of Sage, Mike Harris of the Institute of Directors and Lawrence Jones of UKFast talk about recruitment and the skills shortage facing UK small businesses.

By Alex Bellinger
3rd November 2006 at 3:32 am

This week SmallBizPod #33 focuses on skills shortages and the implications for businesses large and small. We hear from Jo Ray, managing director of Sage UK which commissioned some recent research on this topic, as well as the views of the Institute of Directors and Lawrence Jones, managing director of UKFast a Manchester-based ISP. As usual, there’s also a round up of comments from listeners and the latest from the SmallBizPod Frappr map community.

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Show Notes



• 00:00 Alex on what’s coming up in the show.
• 00:55 Audio comment from Bob Cartwright at who enjoyed the Andy Egan interview and has made business contacts as a result of listening to SmallBizPod.


• 03.17 Interview with Jo Ray, UK managing director of global business software company Sage, on their Heartbeat survey on UK SME business attitudes. Jo reveals her thoughts on why IT and marketing recruitment was proving particularly difficult for businesses large and small. Mike Harris, head of education and skills at the Institute of Directors, confirms that the impact of a shortage of skilled employees is quite severe and is cited as a reason for holding back business growth. Lawrence Jones, managing director of award-winning ISP, UKFast talks about the difficulties his company has had in finding the skills they require, employing people from Iraq, and methods of recruiting candidates with highly technical backgrounds. The series of interviews also includes discussions on the responsibilities of employers to train their workforce, how to retain staff and the contrasting opinions of their colleagues relative skills.


• 22:54 Highlighting PodcastCon UK 2006 in association with Cheeze the direct digital marketing agency who’ve very kindly agreed to be lead sponsor of the event. The UK’s only podcasting conference takes place on 18th November. Alex offers to buy any SmallBizPod listener attending the conference a drink.
• 25:50 A big thank you to Juliette Prouse for her interview for SmallBizPod which will be released very, very soon.
• 26:59 Comment from Andy Minshall who’s planning to start his own business and his passion for entrepreneurship.
• 28:20 Comments left on the SmallBizPod blog from Paul Cheatle on the AIM interview and Daniel chasing for new shows.
• 30:07 Comments from the latest listeners to add themselves to the SmallBizPod Frappr map including: Kelvin Jones, Richard Smith, Steven Benjamin, Nigel Coningham, Libby Ranzetta, Carolyn Mumby, Andy Minshall and Tish Mata.


• 33.28 Music – Ordinary Deity by Alu with thanks to the Podcast Music Network.


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