First published in the Worcester News on 10.03.2017
Productivity is vital in growing any local economy and I am therefore delighted to say that Worcestershire has achieved the highest productivity growth in the Country in recent years. The Office of National Statistics’ latest research shows that productivity grew by an annual average rate of 3% between 2010 and 2015, the fastest rate of growth of all LEP areas. This is fantastic news for the county as it shows that our businesses are benefitting from a productive local workforce. We will continue to invest in infrastructure, business support and skills, to ensure that productivity continues to grow for businesses. Further information on the announcement is available via the Worcestershire LEP website.
There is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to boost their productivity further, with the recently opened Worcestershire Growth Fund Fourth Round. Grants from £20,000 up to £100,000 are available to support local business growth and applications must result in increased business productivity as well as generating new and sustainable jobs based in Worcestershire. Previous rounds of the Worcestershire Growth Fund have helped to create over 200 local jobs and lever £2.28m from the private sector. I would urge interested businesses to submit their applications before the 13 April 2017 deadline by visiting the Worcestershire Business Central website.
Finally, as part of this week’s National Apprenticeship week, we have been joining businesses, schools and training providers in celebrating the productivity of our local apprentices and I am pleased to say that we have opened the nominations for the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2017. The awards will take place on 16 November 2017 at West Midland Safari Park and tables are now on sale for the event. For more information about this year’s Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards and the sponsorship opportunities currently available, visit the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website.