#WorcsDevoDebate to bring together private sector to get a united business voice on regional devolution
Friday 6 February 2015 – book your place today
Regional Devolution has become the current political buzzword and one of the key policy battlegrounds that will be a major contributory factor in the upcoming general election.
The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Federation of Small Business and Institute of Directors have organised the Worcestershire Devolution Debate, a free event aiming to get the local business community talking about our priorities and what devolution could mean to your business and how this could impact skills, transport and business support.
Held at the Artrix, Bromsgrove, the debate will be held from 7.30 – 10.30 on Friday 6 February, with complimentary refreshments and an opening networking period to kick start proceedings.
The debate will be chaired by Mary Rhodes of BBC Midlands Today, presenter of the devolution debate on BBC1 in the West Midlands, and a panel made up of:
- Gary Woodman – Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Executive Director
- Mike Ashton – Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Chief Executive
- Bob Brown – Instutite of Directors, Branch Chairman for Herefordshire & Worcestershire
- Judi Brazkiewicz – Federation of Small Business, Worcestershire Chairman
- Stuart Laverick – Principal, Heart of Worcestershire College.
We will also be joined by a number of political representatives on the day who will be able to present the current situation regarding devolution from the perspective of government.
This event is unmissable for local businesses who want the mysteries of devolution unravelled and to have their say on what our priorities should be moving forward.
To book your place at the event contact the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership on 01905 346 180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join the debate on Twitter #WorcsDevoDebate.
Workshop invitation for City of Culture – book your place by 29 January 2015
A possible bid for the 2021 City of Culture has been considered for some time in and around the City of Worcester. Any bid would need to involve many organisations and all interested parties including businesses are, therefore, being invited to a one-off workshop on:
12 February 2015
9am – 1pm
Worcester Racecourse, Pitchcroft, Worcester, WR1 3EJ.
The workshop will provide further details and discussion on:
- Who would need to be involved
- What a local bid could look like
- The process
- Resource and financial costs and benefits
- The feasibility of a potential bid.
This is also an opportunity to hear directly from representatives from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and those who have been involved in submitting past bids to understand what has previously made a bid successful.
All of the feedback received will be considered and taken forward to define what the next steps should be.
It is hoped that representatives from as many interested parties as possible will attend including arts, cultural and sporting organisations, businesses and other key stakeholders. Please book a place at the earliest opportunity by emailing email@example.com by 29 January 2015.
For more information visit our website.
Help shape Worcestershire's future workforce at the County's first Skills Show
The Worcestershire Skills Show, the first of its kind in the County, will help to develop our future workforce. The show provides hands-on experiences, workshops and talks that will inspire young people to explore career opportunities, skills, qualifications and apprenticeships.
The Skills Show will highlight Worcestershire's key growth sectors and provide thousands of our young people with a clearer idea of the employment opportunities and the job roles of the future.
Your organisation can be part of this unique event in order to showcase the opportunities and careers within your industry. The event is being held on:
Wednesday 18 March 2015
9-30am until 7-00pm.
Sixways Stadium, Worcester.
To enquire about the event or a book a stand, please contact Matt Tope or Fran Wheatley at CSAB@worcestershire.gov.uk or call 01905 765 581.
Could you be more connected with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership in 2015?
There are many ways to be kept updated and engage with the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.
At the 2014 Annual Conference, businesses told us that the best ways to keep in touch were via e-communications, such as this newsletter, and face-to-face;
- This e-newsletter - thank you for subscribing – please pass this on to any colleagues you feel would benefit and preferably send us their email address so that we can include them directly in future. A direct link to subscribe is available on the front page of our website at www.wlep.co.uk which is also regularly updated
- Twitter – do you follow and Tweet @worcsLEP ? Also, by using #WorldClassWorcs when Tweeting about your business successes within Worcestershire, you can attract retweets for your account and also join the campaign to raise the profile of the County as a business location
- LinkedIn – are you a member of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership group? You can join the LEP group by visiting our group page.
This year, we will once again be looking for other ways to meet with businesses face-to-face, such as the Annual Conference which will be held on 23 October 2015, and workshops such as the Worcestershire Devolution Debate (details within this newsletter).
If you have any ideas on the above, what you would like to see in this newsletter, or on social media or face-to-face, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Final Reminder for Redundant Building Grant
Worcestershire businesses are being urged to take advantage of the Redundant Building Grant as the deadline is fast approaching.
Applications for the Government-funded scheme, funded by the Regional Growth Fund, will end at the end of this month (January 2015).
Many businesses have already benefitted from the grants which are available from £3,000 to a maximum of £100,000 as the scheme provides up to 45% of the total eligible costs of the project.
To be eligible for a grant, buildings must either be unused for at least 3 months or unusable in their current state. The building must be used for business purposes once the works are complete and any application should result in a minimum of two newly created safeguarded jobs within two years of completion.
The full criteria is available on the website
, however, businesses should be aware that the grants are not available for conversion to or refurbishment of residential property, or buildings that will be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. Building projects also need to be completed by June 2015.
For further information on the scheme, how to apply and eligibility criteria, visit the website.
Apply for a grant of up to £2,000 to pay for strategic business advice
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses to take advantage of the Government Growth Vouchers Scheme.
The programme, the largest government research project of its kind, is designed to help small businesses receive strategic business advice on finance and cash flow, recruiting and developing staff, improving leadership and management skills, marketing, attracting and keeping customers and making the most of digital technology.
Businesses can also apply to receive a voucher of up to £2,000 which can be used to pay for up to half of the cost of the advice.
The Growth Vouchers Scheme is only open to businesses based in England that have been running for at least six months and with fewer than 250 employees.
Further information is available on the government website
Free Digital Essentials workshops – limited time only
Digital Essentials is a portfolio of workshops and mentoring sessions delivering digital skills training to Worcestershire businesses.
For a limited time, the National Cyber Skills Centre is offering free workshops, normally priced at £85. The workshops, supported by Worcestershire.Business.Central and Worcestershire LEP, provide businesses with a better understanding of cyber security, digital branding and broader digital skills such as social media strategies.
The free workshops are running from January 2015 until March 2015 at various locations across Worcestershire. There are only 240 places available, so businesses are being encouraged to take up this opportunity quickly.
Businesses interested in booking their place on the Digital Essentials workshop can find out how to claim their free workshop here
For further information, visit the Cyber Skills Centre website
In addition to this course, there are many other cyber skill courses available, some of which are paid for courses:
- Growing Cyber - a part funded European Regional Development Fund project based in Worcestershire, designed to help businesses to better understand cyber risks and help to contribute to making Worcestershire the most secure online business place
- Foundation Degree in Cyber Security - providing students with a broad understanding of the importance of cyber security, in particular how it affects businesses worldwide. The course also provides students with knowledge of key legislation and standards in the industry, highlighting key social and ethical issues encountered when securing access to data
- Cyber Skills for the Future Generations - a Tech Industry Gold Programme which covers technical, business and interpersonal areas ensuring that apprentices have an appropriate set of skills to operate in today’s cyber careers.
For more information on these courses, you can view information from the National Cyber Skills Centre
Apprenticeship survey reminder
Worcestershire businesses are being reminded to complete a short apprenticeship survey before the end of January.
There are two surveys available and only take a few minutes to complete:
- Apprenticeship survey for businesses who currently employ apprentices – so that a greater understanding of your experiences can be gained
- Apprenticeship survey for businesses who do not currently employ apprentices, or have previously employed apprentices - to understand what could help you to offer placements.
Through the hard work of young people, schools and businesses, the number of people actively participating in an apprenticeship programme now stands at over 10,000, more than four times the number in 2011. The surveys are designed to understand the experiences of employers and what they look for when hiring apprentices, as well as any support that could be provided to help further increase the excellent Worcestershire apprenticeship opportunities available.
The surveys can be completed on our website
and many thanks to all businesses for taking the time to complete the surveys.