Business leaders in Birmingham will have the opportunity to quiz Vince Cable when he visits the city on Thursday.
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills will meet key members of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group to discuss the state of trade and industry. He will also have the opportunity to talk to shop floor workers.
Mr Cable will be accompanied throughout the visit by Coun Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and leader of the Liberal Democrats in Birmingham.
Coun Tilsley said: “We are delighted that the Business Secretary is visiting Birmingham to see at first hand how Coalition policies are working, particularly in relation to skills and innovation.”
Me Cable will visit BSA Machine Tools, in Kitts Green, to meet managing director Steve Brittan, vice-president of Birmingham Chamber, and two machine tool fitters who are now full-time employees after serving apprenticeships.
Birmingham Chamber has been working with Birmingham Metropolitan College to increase the number of apprentices in Birmingham and BSA Machine Tools are seeking a new apprentice design engineer through the college, having recruited a new technical apprentice to the shop floor.
Mr Brittan said: “We are liaising very successfully with the Met to recruit new apprentices, who are vital to our future, particularly in our continuing drive to export to China, the Far East, Mexico and North America.
“Mr Cable will be able to see at first hand how our relationship with the college is working and I will be in a position to explain the opportunities and barriers for manufacturing in the Midlands at the moment.”
Michael Ward, President of Birmingham Chamber, said: “The Business Secretary’s visit will give us the opportunity to examine with him the opportunities and barriers to growth, entrepreneurship and many other issues facing businesses today.
“Our recent Quarter Economic Survey indicated that there is more brightness returning to the economy and we hope Mr Cable will find it helpful to hear what businesses on the ground are experiencing now.
“We will also be able to explain to him the Chamber’s Pathfinder work with the Local Better Regulation Office in an initiative to tackle red tape locally.”