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Many UK firms are unaware of Government support schemes

19 November, 2013

A survey to assess levels of awareness of Government schemes that support manufacturing in the UK has revealed that half of the 446 organisations surveyed were unaware of 13 of the 18 available schemes, and 78%n were unaware of nine or more of the schemes.

The survey was conducted by UK controls and automation trade body Gambica with support from organisations including the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), EEF (the manufacturers' organisation), IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) and Intellect. About two thirds of those surveyed were manufacturers, and about 20% were operating in the services sector.

The survey revealed an average 34% awareness of the schemes, with 16% of the respondents already using or considering using them. The best-known scheme was the Apprenticeship service, with 70% of those surveyed being aware of it and 28% already using it. This was followed closely by R&D Tax Credits with a 69% awareness level and 32% already using it.

At the other end of the scale, only 8% of those surveyed were aware of the Talent Retention Solution scheme and 12% recognised the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot scheme.

“Our aim was to create a survey that would be simple enough to complete but gather good evidence of awareness levels,” explains Gambica’s deputy director, Steve Brambley. “The results indicate a wide spread of awareness levels for the different schemes, suggesting the need for specific targeted communication actions.

“The really positive outcome of the survey,” he adds, “is that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is keen to work with Gambica and the other survey stakeholders in order to raise awareness and promote these essential support schemes.”

A forum chaired by BIS will prioritise actions based on the results of the survey.

Details of the survey and information on the support schemes can be downloaded from Gambica’s Web site.

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