06 October 2016
Greater Birmingham was among seven Chambers of Commerce to jointly host a reception on transforming skills in the Midlands at the Conservative Party Conference.
MPs and stakeholders from across the region were invited to join the Chambers and representatives of local businesses at the ‘fringe’ event at the Marmalade Lounge of the REP Theatre, Birmingham, which is close to the main entrance of the International Conference Centre, in Centenary Square.
The aim being to informally provide MPs with a closer insight into regional business priorities and concerns or opportunities relating to the skills agenda.
The other Chambers involved were Hereford and Worcestershire, Northants, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Warwickshire, Black Country, Staffordshire and East Midlands Chamber.
Francis Martin, president of the British Chambers of Commerce addressed delegates.
He spoke on the importance of business engagement with education, developing transferable skills and vocational as well as academic education and the vital role Chambers play in this space.
Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships at GBCC, said: “Skills is a priority area for many Chamber members across the region.
"In Greater Birmingham, our Quarterly Business Report regularly shows that upwards of 60 per cent of employers attempting to recruit encounter difficulties doing so.
"Engineering and programming skills are also often highlighted by members as areas in short supply.
"On the other hand, there are a number of valuable examples of businesses, educational establishments, social enterprises and beyond coming together to deliver innovative solutions to these challenges.
"These trends are echoed across the Midlands region and Chamber network. This event provided a useful platform for delegates to network with likeminded businesses and MPs from across the region and discuss how we can get the Midlands’ skills pipeline fit for the future.”