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

With National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week both taking place this week, March gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase how Worcestershire is a fantastic county to work in.

This is a message we will be sharing at the Worcestershire Skills Show, which also takes place this week, and is set to welcome its largest ever audience of over 2,800 people. The event will provide young people with the opportunity to meet with employers and learn more about working in their ideal career.

It is always great to see Worcestershire’s businesses showing their support for the benefit of our younger generations and we are seeing this clearly in the Worcestershire Apprenticeships selfie campaign, currently taking place. Apprenticeships play a vital role in business growth and I would encourage any company that employs an apprentice to participate in the campaign. Worcestershire has a growing reputation for its highly skilled population and there are a lot of programmes that support this development. The Skills Support for Worcestershire programme is a great example of how a local SME business has been able to train its staff to boost the quality of its production.

As well as benefitting from a skilled workforce, local businesses also have access to the Midlands Engine Investment fund which has rolled out £100m of its £250m SME equity fund. The fund will be hosting showcase events across the region, including one in Malvern, to provide more information about the funding available, its potential uses and how to apply.

We are also continuing our work to promote local sustainability and I am delighted to have seen the positive response to our investment in the new Woo Bikes pilot scheme. This is a fantastic initiative that is already drawing support from local businesses such as Gtech, in a unique collaboration. I would also encourage all businesses to consider registering their place for the latest Business Energy Efficiency Programme sustainability forum for information on grants to improve environmental credentials.