Update from Worcestershire LEP Chief Executive, Gary Woodman: September 2018

It’s the time of the year when we get the pleasure of announcing the finalists for the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, and this year we are celebrating another 25 high quality apprentices, apprenticeship employers, training providers and schools. They are all fantastic examples of the success of our local apprenticeships and my congratulations go to them all.  For businesses that are interest in learning more about local apprenticeships, I would recommend attending the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Show.

We are now well and truly entering events season and there are some fantastic events for local companies to attend to learn more about growing their business. We’ve had some great news that Digital Transformation Strategist, Tiffany St James, is now confirmed as our keynote speaker for the #WLEP18 Conference. Worcestershire Business Central’s Conference, Inspiring Growth, is taking place this week and I would urge you all to register your attendance today for the latest information on business support. I would also encourage local agritech businesses to register for the roundtable discussion at Pershore College to learn about the future of the fast growing sector.

Agritech businesses in particular have now gained the support of two new websites to aid their growth. Agri Tech West have launched their website, aiming to remove barriers to innovation by providing access to support in skills development, business growth, knowledge transfer and research & development. There is also a new website for Worcestershire Food and Drink Association and the new membership organisation will promote independent food and drink providers around the county.

We are continuing to see more good news in Worcestershire’s progress as a digitally connected county. The Government has announced its £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help more small businesses and local communities to contribute to the installation of a gigabit capable connection. Our 5G Testbed development is continuing to progress well also and we are seeing a lot of international interest in how it is enabling businesses to develop innovative new processes that weren’t previously possible.