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Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

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Skills shortage - the biggest obstacle to Birmingham's growth

Oxbridge Home Learning

Matt Jones, founder and director of Oxbridge Home Learning, explains how distance learning can play an important part in filling the skills gap.

The phenomenal growth of people enrolling on distance learning courses shows no signs of slowing down, as more and more people look to undertake courses for both personal and professional reasons.

This is welcome news as it means there is a real opportunity to address this region’s skills shortage, which is a major obstacle to growth.

During the recent launch of the Birmingham Economic Review 2017, produced by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI, Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the chamber, said: "Skills gaps clearly remain a major concern in Greater Birmingham, and we consistently see this reflected in our Quarterly Business Report.

"However, the Birmingham Economic Review 2017 provides a detailed, striking analysis of the areas most affected. It is the hope of the Chamber that this review will help businesses and policy makers ensure, going forward, that local people have the skills they need to access and succeed in the new jobs being created across Greater Birmingham."

Distance learning can and will contribute to local people getting the right skills because it allows people to study anywhere, at any time and at their own pace, ensuring flexibility so they can prioritise around their other work and family commitments.

Ultimately, there is no quick fix to filling the skills gap as many professions require years of training and education but that doesn’t mean we should be daunted by the task ahead of us.

Instead we should be tackling it head on.

This is the time to really ramp up the training and education of young people and our existing workforce and distance learning helps people of all ages and backgrounds access a wide variety of educational courses that benefit businesses in all sectors.