This is our first Blue Collar Conversation online. We’ve moved from the pub to the podcast! Like our country wide pub events, these podcasts act as a space to discuss ideas that champion working people.
In January there were a record high 33 million people in work, 5 million of which were self employed. Those figures changed over night as the country’s workforce was put on freeze, many furloughed, many made redundant, all of us unsure what the future holds.
Before Covid 19, the weekly figure claiming Universal Credit benefit was around 50,000 people, but for the last 2 weeks that figure has risen to almost 1 million.
Covid 19 has turned the world upside down and in record quick time. Only a few weeks ago no one had even heard of the word Coronavirus and yet now it dominates every moment of our life. Job loss, financial uncertainty, business closures, health, pastime, movement restrictions. Will the world ever look the same again?
In this episode, Esther McVey MP speaks to business man David Salmon, 69yrs from Scunthorpe, founder of Amelia Knight an international cosmetic company which exports to 24 countries and has factories in England and China. He shares his experience of what’s happened in China and what’s happening here, how he started up in business and why the first thing he did when Coronavirus hit was protect his staff.
We also speak to Jamie McIvor, 21yrs, a young aspiring entrepreneur, who as well as having 2 flower shops works part time as Cabin Crew for a big airline. His unusual position of being furloughed himself by a large company and having to do the same to the staff in his shops.
Maria Caulfield joins us, too! MP and cancer nurse, who’s gone straight back to the front line working on a Covid 19 ward. Discussing the exhaustion of frontline staff in hospitals and the fear Coronavirus brings with it. She talks about the wonderful collaboration with Formula 1, Mercedes and University College Hospital London, as business and the NHS develop ventilators in record time.
Amongst the fear and the uncertainty, the illness and the anxiety Esther asks: has the business landscape changed forever? Is the age of the entrepreneur over? How will we recover from Covid 19?