Update from Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: November 2015

In the coming weeks there are many opportunities for businesses to get more involved in the work of the WLEP as well as understand the support available on how you can grow your company.

With next week being Export Week (9-13 November 2015) this is a great opportunity to consider how you could work with new markets by doing business overseas. Do look out for the many events and the support available from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). I would also encourage you to look out for opportunities to explore individual new markets, for example, by registering for the ‘Doing Business in Italy’ event that is being run by Bishop Fleming.

I am looking forward to the #WLEP15 Annual Conference next week (13 November) which  will provide a fantastic opportunity for businesses to learn of the plans to grow Worcestershire’s economy further and the many opportunities to get involved. I would encourage all businesses, large and small, to take these opportunities and tell us your ideas. If you have questions you would like answered by panel members, do remember you can submit them ahead of the event as we do want maximum participation from all those who attend. The Conference is also designed to help businesses to understand the local business support available and I do look forward to seeing many of you there. If you were unable to secure a place before the event was fully subscribed, I would encourage you to look out for updates on Twitter from @WorcsLEP and join the conversation using #WLEP15.

The evening before the Annual Conference (12 November), we will also be celebrating the achievements of our schools, training providers, apprentices and businesses at the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards. There is great support for apprenticeships in the County and congratulations to all of the finalists. If your business doesn’t currently offer apprenticeships, please consider doing so as these awards highlight the truly valuable contribution apprentices make to a company.

Finally, we will continue to make updates available regarding the €68m EU programme that the Worcestershire LEP is responsible for via our website and Twitter @WorcsLEP. The most recent announcement is that Worcestershire organisations are being invited to bid for just over £1.1m of EU and Big Lottery Funding to support the development of skills to overcome barriers to work, education and training. If you are interested, please ensure you submit your application ahead of the deadline of 12 noon on Monday 30 November 2015. Do remember that Worcestershire.Business.Central. can provide information and guidance on all funding opportunities and that excellent support and networking opportunities are also available through Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.