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Barclays Announces £14bn Fund to Help Businesses Succeed After Brexit

https://home.barclays/news/2019/04/sme-lending-fund/

Barclays Bank has announced it is establishing a new £14 billion lending fund which forms part of an overarching initiative designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) ‘flourish’ after Brexit.

Focused on building SME resilience during uncertain times, the package of support includes:

• A £14 billion dedicated lending fund for those businesses that are deemed important to the UK economy (turnover of £0-£25 million).

• More than 100 SME Brexit clinics and seminars being run in local communities across the country.

• An established network of on-the-ground relationship management experts and industry specialists, based across the UK.

The bank says these initiatives are designed to help SMEs think about managing cash-flow and working capital, as well as exporting goods abroad, labour, supply chain management, and broader issues of preparedness.

This fund is intended for SMEs at several stages of growth and development. It includes a range of business lending services, including:

• Business loans, commercial mortgages and overdrafts up to £250,000 working capital.

• Cash flow funding for investment in growth, management buyouts and business acquisition.

• Loans for innovative businesses looking for growth funding, capital and environmental investment.

• Maximising government schemes like The Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme.

Launching the fund, Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley, said:

"Barclays stands ready to help local businesses in towns, cities and rural communities, up and down the country, during this period of uncertainty.

"Today’s £14bn fund, along with our broader package of support, shows our commitment to the local businesses that are the backbone of the UK economy – we are here to help them plan for the future and invest for growth."

Beating January blues could cost more than a week in paradise

People are at risk of losing thousands to villa scams, according to new data from Barclays. The data revealed that more than a third of reported villa scams result in losses of over £1,000.

To help holidaymakers stay safe this January, Barclays is issuing a new warning against the dangers of villa scams – where criminals hijack the details of overseas villas, or use fake details to dupe unsuspecting tourists.

Research suggests that all consumers need to take greater care when booking accommodation online to help prevent them from losing their holiday fund. One in seven of those surveyed (14 per cent) admitted they would still book holiday accommodation despite knowing there is a risk of being scammed, and a quarter (26 per cent) would be prepared to put themselves at risk just in the hope of bagging a summer bargain.

Barclays has identified that there are several warning signs people are ignoring when booking their holiday. Research shows that 43 per cent would not hear alarm bells if they were asked to pay for a holiday via bank transfer, and less than half (45 per cent) would check their booking is with a member of a trade body or consumer protection scheme such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), leaving them susceptible to less protected companies.

In addition, more than half (55 per cent) would not be put off booking a holiday, even if it seemed ‘too good to be true’.

Ross Martin, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said: “Trying to escape the January blues may seem like an appealing prospect, but fraudsters are preparing to take advantage of sun-seekers at this time of year. We must all be aware of the risks and make sure we are carrying out proper safety checks to ensure our online security and enjoy a scam-free holiday.”

Barclays top tips for staying safe while booking holidays this January:

  1. Is the offer too good to be true?

Do your research. If a villa is advertised at half the going rate and has great availability in peak season when everywhere else is full, this should tell you something. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

  1. Do an internet search on the location

If the villa in question appears to be advertised by other companies under another name, this may also be a warning sign. Be sure to do thorough research before making any booking

  1. Are they asking you to pay by transfer?

Scammers love bank transfers. The money goes straight from your account to theirs and then they take it straight out and it disappears. By the time you realise that something is wrong, they are long gone

  1. Look for companies that have a real location and real phone numbers

Be suspicious of businesses that will only communicate via email and mobile phones. It’s worth checking the address or even looking at the location through an online street map. Make sure you check that the travel agent and website is certified, and that your payment is going to the right people

  1. Before you commit to anything, stop and take time to think

If it is a legitimate company, five minutes isn’t going to make any difference – and it could save you thousands of pounds and untold heartache.

 For more details on how to stay safe, visit www.barclays.co.uk/security

Barclays backs Take Five to Stop Fraud – a national campaign from UK Finance and Government offering straight-forward advice to help everyone prevent financial fraud.

BARCLAYS BACKS NEXT GENERATION TO BOOST BRITAIN’S FARMS

BARCLAYS BACKS NEXT GENERATION TO BOOST BRITAIN’S FARMS

  • Number of farmers aged over 65 in the UK has increased 70 per cent in last decade

  • Just six per cent of millennials in the South East view farming as a desirable career, despite over half saying they want to work outdoors

  • Barclays teams up with TV presenter, former JLS boyband star and now successful Kent based turkey farmer JB Gill to encourage farmers to plan for their farm’s future and inspire under-30s to consider a career in agriculture

Barclays has today launched #FarmtheFuture, a nationwide campaign encouraging farmers to plan for their future and tell young people about the benefits of a career in agriculture, as new data reveals that Britain’s farming population is ageing rapidly.

The bank has teamed up with TV presenter and former JLS boyband star JB Gill, who has swapped pop stardom for a rural life of turkey and pig farming in Westerham, Kent, to show the younger generation that farming could be their perfect career.

The number of British farmers aged over 65 has increased by 70 per cent in the last decade, while the proportion of under-25s running farms has dropped by two thirds (63 per cent) over the same period. The average age of the British farmer is now 55.5 years old, with almost four in ten (38 per cent) aged 65 or over.1

Just six per cent of the 18-30 year olds in the South East surveyed by Barclays said they would view farming and agriculture as a desirable career, despite the job meeting many of the criteria young people look for in employment.

Over three quarters of millennials (76 per cent) in the South East said staying physically fit and healthy while working was important to them and over half (58 per cent) said they would like to work with animals.

A lack of understanding and a perceived lack of resources appear to be the key things putting young people off a career in farming. Over half (59 per cent) believed they wouldn’t be able to afford to become a farmer, while 48 per cent thought they needed to inherit land.

While many farm businesses traditionally pass down through families, farmers with no direct succession are now exploring alternative options, including share farming agreements. These allow new entrants to farm in partnership with the farm owner with much less capital required than starting out alone their share of the business can grow over time through profit share.

JB Gill, TV presenter and former JLS boyband star, said: “There’s a lot of misconceptions among young people about what a career in agriculture really means. It’s hard, physical work so it keeps you fit, you get to work with animals, you’re your own boss and you can keep up with the trends by posting everything on Instagram for everyone else to see.

“The farming community is really welcoming, providing newcomers with knowledge on everything from tending to animals to financial advice. You don’t need to have your own land to work in agriculture, there are many options from farm management through to the service industries and I would encourage anyone interested to give it some serious consideration – it’s a life like no other!”

Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture at Barclays, said: “Barclays has over one hundred and fifty agriculture relationship managers working the length and breadth of the UK to support businesses within their local communities and help them plan for the future.

“Every industry needs new talent to innovate and look to new markets, and the next generation will be vital as the sector strives to boost productivity and drive growth.

“British farmers have proven time and again their ability to diversify, innovate, and weather tricky economic conditions, so the skill and experiences the older generation can bring are vital. But the next generation need to learn the skills to carry businesses forward in the future. The best place to make your first enquiry on a road to a farming career is your local agricultural college or university.”

Find out more at barclays.co.uk/agriculture

UK faces employability skills gap as nearly 54% of adults in the South East lack the full set of core transferable skills

UK faces employability skills gap as nearly 54% of adults in the South East lack the full set of core transferable skills

·         54 per cent of adults in the South East failed to demonstrate all the core employability skills needed for the future world of work: proactivity, adaptability, leadership, creativity, resilience, communication and problem solving

·         A third of employers aren’t planning to offer training in these skills in the near future, meaning people will need to take control of their own lifelong learning

·         To help address the problem, Barclays will be extending its LifeSkills programme to the whole of the UK workforce, aiming to help 10 million people by the end of 2022

The South East is facing a significant skills gap as the public fail to demonstrate core employability skills, such as leadership and creativity, a major new study from Barclays LifeSkills can reveal.

The report, “How employable is the UK?”, which surveyed and tested over 10,000 16-65 year olds, 600 employers and 500 educators from across the UK, found that more than half (57 per cent) of over 16s are failing to demonstrate all the employability skills needed to succeed in the future workplace. In the South East this figure falls to 54 per cent, 3 per cent lower than the UK average.

These skills are crucial in preparing the UK for a world of work where, due to the speed of change, we are unable to accurately predict what the jobs of the future will look like and what technical skills will be needed. The seven employability skills are what humans are best at – they cannot be replicated by robots and will become even more valuable in the future, as global patterns of work change and automation, freelance working patterns and the average working age all increase.

The study showed that traditional sources of these skills, like in-work training and formal education, are not currently set-up to tackle the employability skills gap. Despite the majority (79 per cent) of UK employers rating the skills as important to their industry in the next ten years, a third (34 per cent) do not plan to offer any training in the near future. Research among teachers from across the UK revealed that 22 per cent don’t think their institution is effective in developing employability skills for pupils, with just 6 per cent feeling that their students are fully prepared with these skills when leaving the school gates.

The report highlights that, if we are to be successful in addressing this employability skills gap, educators, businesses and the Government must work more closely together. There is a clear need to raise awareness of the importance of these skills and increase the support available to people of all ages – ultimately helping the UK to thrive in the working world of tomorrow.

 

PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH EAST OVER CONFIDENT IN THEIR SKILLS

Respondents from the South East showed that they were over confident across the seven employability skills. 18 per cent of people in the South East had a confidence gap, with a mismatch between their high self-assessed skill levels and the reality of their test results. In comparison, 24 per cent of Londoners had a confidence gap, the highest skills confidence gap of any region.

GENERATION GAPS

The research findings showed Millennials as the lowest performing age group, with just 4 in 10 (39 per cent) of 25-34 year olds able to display all of the core skills. This generation risks being overtaken in the increasingly competitive employment landscape by the younger Gen Z (16-24 year olds), a slightly greater proportion of whom (41 per cent) can demonstrate all seven key skills, despite only just having entered the workforce. Across younger respondents however, the study found high levels of over confidence when matching actual abilities to how they rated themselves, showing the need for ongoing support in building skills.

In comparison, almost half (47 per cent) of Baby Boomers (51-65 year olds) had the full range of employability skills but rated far lower in their self-confidence, meaning those who are working later into life may need support in using their strong skillsets to their full advantage.

GENDER DIFFERENCES

For every skill, women outperformed men, with 46 per cent of women able to demonstrate they had all seven skills, compared to just 39 per cent of men. Despite this gap, men were much more likely than women to be highly confident in their own skills, particularly when it came to adaptability (19 per cent of men compared to 14 per cent of women).

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “Today’s findings show the importance of lifelong learning, whatever your age or chosen career path. I firmly believe that education should not stop at the school gates – businesses, educators and the Government all have a role to play.

“We need to work together to agree a core set of transferable employability skills, giving people of all ages the tools needed to upskill and ultimately creating a competitive workforce that will support the UK economy.

“That is why Barclays is backing the UK by announcing the expansion of our LifeSkills programme to all ages – by the end of 2022 we’re committing to helping 10 million adults build the employability skills they need to succeed in the future workplace.”