A recent study by CEBR (The Centre for Economics and Business Research), the accounts and think-tank, has revealed a "forgotten sector” of Medium Sized businesses (MSB's) that has thrived despite the economic downturn, creating over 52,000 jobs in 2011 and contributing a total of £285bn to UK GDP.

Research into these medium size companies (which generally average between 50 and 499 employees and also have a cumulative annual turnover of £628bn), seem to have outperformed both larger and smaller businesses during the economic recession in sales, staff and export growth.

According to the recent report, turnover per employee in MSBs is 18% above than the UK average. However most of this difference is based on a comparison with small businesses that are generally performing much less successfully. Even now SMB productivity lags well behind the largest companies an if they were to close this gap, they could increase turnover by an estimated £23.4bn a year.

The government has introduced a package of financial support for SMB's which has been ongoing since 2010 however a key problem is the SMB's inability to attract top talent into the manufacturing and services sector many opting for the financial sector instead.