Wiltshire businesswoman supports Prime Minister’s SME reform package

By Ben Carey on 28 March, 2024

A businesswoman from Chippenham recently met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at an SME conference.

Debbie Williams, Co-Founder of John Williams Heating Services, was invited to attend the SME Connect conference held on Monday 18th March, following her appointment as a member of the newly established Government-led Small Business Council.

The council serves as a platform for SMEs, bringing together companies from diverse sectors such as food and drink, trades, manufacturing and beauty.

Its primary objective is to actively listen to the concerns and perspectives of small and medium-sized enterprises and present them to the Government. 

Attendees of the conference witnessed the announcement of a reform initiative by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aiming to promote a more conducive environment for SMEs to flourish. 

The reform package includes various measures, such as investing £60 million to create up to 20,000 extra apprenticeships, with a special emphasis on helping young people and small businesses.

Speaking at the conference, the Prime Minister said, “Whether it’s breaking down barriers and red tape for small businesses, helping businesses hire more young people into apprenticeships and skilled jobs, or empowering women to start up their own businesses – this Government is sticking to the plan and leaving no stone unturned to make the UK the best place to do business.”

Speaking after the event, Debbie said, “I appreciate the announcement regarding apprenticeships made by the Prime Minister. The commitment to apprenticeships is a step in the right direction. The initiative will encourage employers to adopt apprenticeships as an effective method to upskill their workforces.” 

John Williams Heating Services, located on the Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate in Chippenham, demonstrates a strong commitment to apprentices. The company was recently recognised with two awards at the Wiltshire College and University Centre (WCUC) Apprenticeship Awards 2024.