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Publishing the largest private sector survey of business sentiment, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that there is little to be cheerful about as growth flatlines and business confidence weakens.
The number of people starting apprenticeships has fallen since the much-criticised Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017. Official figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that there were 341,700 apprenticeship starts between August 2017 and June 2018.
Given that the shape of any Brexit deal is still unclear, it is difficult for any business to assess what impact it will have. That said, it seems that a majority of UK businesses have not yet tried to complete a Brexit risk assessment.
As if Brexit was not already causing problems enough, the European Commission has thrown a new complication into the mix with its proposal to “discontinue seasonal changes of time” — in other words to put an end to the practice of changing the clocks twice a year.
UK business organisations have been pressing ministers for months to provide more detail about plans to deal with the possibility of failing to reach agreement on Brexit but the latest batch of “no deal” advice notes has done nothing to alleviate their concerns.
The Government has already published more than 50 technical notices on planning for what it calls the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU in March next year with no deal (see “Expect the best, prepare for the worst” and “No deal Brexit — part two”).