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PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION

BUSINESS IS DONE BETTER TOGETHER

SUPPORTING THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW AS ‘VIRTUAL BLACK COUNTRY CAREERS EXPO’ ANNOUNCED

We live in confusing times, and that can make it harder to plan for the future. But there are some things that we can be certain about.

 

Living in a post-Covid facing world brings drastic environmental changes and rapid technological change.

 

Three big challenges - Covid-19, automation and the environmental crisis - will shape the future of work over the next 10 years and beyond.

 

Covid-19 is transforming the world of work, in the UK every sector of the economy has been hit by the pandemic, with reports suggesting that the worst-hit industries have been hospitality, culture, constructionmanufacturing and automotive.

 

However, the pandemic is accelerating the trend towards automation in many sectors – many of the jobs lost will not return once the pandemic is over, and in the UK, the pandemic has hastened the trend towards digitalisation. 

 

Ensuring the Black Country workforce of tomorrow is skilled and adaptable to these changes is key, so, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce has joined together with the Black Country Skills Factory - Careers Hub - funded by the Careers Enterprise Company, to launch the ‘Black Country Careers Expo’, in a bid to help youngsters from across the region gain an insight into the future world of the workplace and create links with local employers, colleges, training providers and universities.

 

‘Going Live’ on the 14th January next year, and available for 4 weeks, the Virtual Black Country Careers Expo will provide pupils, parents and teachers from across the Black Country, access to a wide range of careers advice, employment information, apprenticeships, skills and training programmes, FE and HE information, all under one virtual roof.

 

The project, launched to inspire tomorrow’s workforce, will give youngsters advice on their future career prospects, and showcase some of the next steps and jobs available to them, helping them as individuals to plan and build their future careers.

 

Overhauling post-18 education with a new focus on technical courses, and providing £1.5 billion to upgrade and improve college buildings, the government has promised to create the jobs of tomorrow, stating that they will look with “laser-like focus on skills.”

 

Meanwhile the Black Country Careers Expo will build on the work of the Black Country Careers Hub and will be a great opportunity for businesses and providers to reach out to the young people of the area during these challenging times, providing an opportunity to promote their individual sector jobs, apprenticeships and training courses.

 

To ensure that all sectors are featured in January’s event, the Chamber are asking those businesses interested in becoming involved to contact them or the Black Country Skills Factory.

To find out more please contact Alex Bamford at alexbamford@blackcountrychamber.co.uk

CHAMBERS AND WMCA STEP UP BREXIT SUPPORT

In recent days, the Government has launched a campaign reminding firms to ensure they are not caught out by trade rules ahead of the January 1st deadline.

The campaign, entitled ‘Time Is Running Out’, follows the Government declaring official negotiations over a trade deal, as over without a deal.

Among the steps the Government is calling on businesses to take, are being ready for changed procedures, checking on visa or work permit requirements, preparing for the new immigration system, checking qualifications remain valid to provide services within the EU and ensuring personal data can still be received from European countries.

HMRC is also writing to 200,000 firms to set out new rules.

But the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said many firms are facing a string of unanswered questions about the changes.

In a statement from BCC Director General, Adam Marshall, he said, "Facing the triple threat of a resurgent coronavirus, tightening restrictions and a disorderly end to the transition period, it is little wonder businesses are struggling to prepare.

"Many firms will be tired of posturing, cliff edges and deadlines, while others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic."

He continued, "More businesses will undoubtedly step up preparations for change over the coming weeks, but many are still facing unanswered Brexit questions that have a big impact on their day to day operations.

"A UK-EU deal is still both possible and critically important. No matter what happens, businesses will have to change. But we need a deal that supports businesses and jobs, and final clarity over what changes they must make."

Meanwhile, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Regional Chambers of Commerce and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have stepped up their free support to help businesses prepare.

The WMCA, Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (C&WCC) and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), are working together to scale up existing support.

The programme, available now and up to February 2021, gives local businesses access to:

  • Fully-funded places on a choice of 24 accredited and non-accredited high-quality international trade-focused training courses (worth c.£200+VAT per delegate per course)

  • 15 free webinars featuring guest experts on all aspects of preparing for 2021, including intellectual property, data protection and immigration

  • One-to-one support with customs and export documentation-related queries

  • Digital resources, including business briefings, checklists and videos on key topics. 

To find out more about the support available, get in touch with the Chamber Policy team via email policy@blackcountrychamber.co.uk or telephone 0330 024 0820

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