THE recent interest rate rise is more symbolic than substantial, after all the 0.5 rate is still historically low.

However, it does indicate a direction for interest rates longer term; a steady increase, but still quite low.

The Bank of England has indicated that devaluation of the pound due to Brexit has influenced inflation as the price of imported goods has increased, taking the decision to raise the interest rate. We also expect wage inflation, which is a concern for competitiveness.

Warrington’s strength in the manufacturing and logistics sector is not only based upon location advantages, but also access to an affordable, qualified workforce.

Additionally, there is a demographic dip in the UK at the moment, with a low point in the number of 18 year-olds within the population. Attracting and retaining good staff at a reasonable price can be achieved by other means than simply pay.

Family friendly policies, development opportunities and a positive working environment are all critical ingredients. Happy employees stay and tell their friends.

Word soon gets out if you are ‘a good firm to work for’. Good management is required to create the factors for a happy, productive and loyal workforce. So making good appointments is the first step.

  • LAWRENCE Bellamy writes a regular column for business