D-Drill's Julie White joins government's Small Business Council

A leading female figure in the construction industry has joined a new council of business leaders chosen by the Government to help provide a voice for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Julie White, the managing director of D-Drill & Sawing – which has an office in Sheffield – has been invited by Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, to join the Small Business Council.

The council will serve as an advisory body to the government, providing ‘valuable perspectives on the challenges facing UK SMEs’ as well as offering suggestions to help overcome any barriers to growth.

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The first meeting of the council took place on Thursday (February 22) and Julie, who is also the chair of Build UK, has committed to representing construction as well as highlighting issues that affect all SMEs, which make up 99.9 per cent of all businesses in the UK and support 27 million jobs.

Julie WhiteJulie White
Julie White

She said: “I’m honoured to have been selected to join the new Small Business Council and welcome this opportunity to share my thoughts on what it’s like doing business in the current climate.

“Everyone knows that trading is tough, and it’s vital that SMEs are given as much support as possible to help them to grow.

“Working with business, the government can help to create the right economic conditions to help us all flourish by ensuring consistent policy, improving procurement and providing support for skills.”

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As chair of Build UK, the leading representative organisation for construction, Julie is no stranger to advising Government. She was a regular visitor to Downing Street and other Ministerial departments as part of the ‘Prime Minister’s Business Council’ in 2022 and 2023, where she advised the Government on the best ways to support the construction industry and grow the UK economy.

One of her greatest passions is apprenticeships and wider training and development needs within industry.

She added: “I am a big believer in growing your own and that is something that we have done at D-Drill over many years, which has helped us learn what works really well and what doesn’t. I am eager to share my insights with Government and the wider SME community.

“The more we can develop the next generation of talent – both in construction and business more broadly – the more likely it is that we will improve productivity and grow the economy.”

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D-Drill has now been trading for close to 60 years and it has the UK’s largest branch network in its sector with an unrivalled team of experts utilising the latest equipment in diamond drilling, sawing and controlled demolition technology.

Commenting on the launch of the Small Business Council, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities and drive the UK’s economy, supporting jobs and wages across the country.

“This new council will mean SMEs have a clear voice at the table and we can deliver on the key needs for business.

“We are taking action to ensure that they have the support, tools and guidance they need to thrive – because when small businesses succeed, the UK succeeds.”

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Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Small firms are at the heart of our communities and the engine of our economy – which is why the work of this council is so important. My own experience of working in a small business has given me crucial insights to the problems that SMEs face on a daily basis, from barriers to growth or access to finance.

“We’re giving small firms a big voice, so they can directly air their concerns to government without delay – only when we work together can we tackle some of the burning issues SMEs are facing – only then can we help boost jobs and grow the economy.”