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SMEs look to recruitment drive

Written by Kimberley Startup | July 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

UK small businesses plan to create 470,000 new jobs in the coming year, research finds*.

Some 38 per cent of businesses surveyed for GE Capital’s ‘SME Employment & Optimism Pulse’ – a study of more than 1,000 European SMEs – say they plan to increase the number of full-time employees in the next 12 months, compared to 7 per cent who were planning to reduce in number.

Overall, 46 per cent of businesses surveyed in the UK are optimistic about the growth prospects of the sector in which they operate, although there is a much more marked difference in responses depending on the size of the business.

Medium-sized businesses are much more likely to be positive (56 per cent) than negative (18 per cent), whereas micro businesses are more likely to be negative (47 per cent) than positive (39 per cent) about their prospects.

Despite the fact that UK SMEs are positive on employment, they still lag behind Germany and France in employment stakes.

Some 55 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany say that they will increase headcounts, creating 971,779 new jobs over the next twelve months. In France, 47 per cent plan to increase headcounts, creating 630,686 new jobs.

Overall, businesses in France and Germany are slightly more likely to feel positive about growth in their sector in the next twelve months, with half of SMEs in each country claiming to be optimistic.

John Jenkins, Chief Executive of GE Capital UK says, ‘Although the picture for UK job creation is positive, there are noticeable variations depending on the size of businesses and the region and sector in which they operate, highlighting the kaleidoscopic conditions experienced by the UK SMEs.

‘It’s clear that the smallest businesses, which after all make up the backbone of the UK economy, may need further support to boost business confidence and realise their potential.’

*This article was featured on Small Business site –

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