What are they key updates from January?
The first month of 2020 seems to have gone very quickly, and things here at the LEP office are busy as ever as we make preparations for delivery into 2020 and the financial year 2020/21. Hopefully you’ve seen BetaDen, Worcestershire’s Technology Accelerator programme is calling for applications for cohort 3 – I encourage you to get your applications in, they close on 17th February, and we’re looking at high quality applications, like those that have come in previous cohorts. Cohort 3 should be even higher quality and I’d encourage you to go to the BetaDen website to have a look at the application process and how you can pitch to be a part of Cohort 3.
Just a few changes at Board level that we’ve seen, I’d like to thank Mark Martin for his time and commitment to the Board and we’ve now got Jenny Long from Ice Blue who’s just come onto the Board from North Worcestershire. It’s really good to see Jenny on and she’ll bring lots of value. Also congratulations to our Board Member, Nicola Whiting, who in the new year’s honours list received an MBE for services to International Trade.
What is the latest update on the #WLEP20 Conference?
Yesterday we launched the bookings for the LEP Conference 2020. This should be an excellent event down at the Worcester Arena on the 31st March. Have a look on the website www.wlepconference.co.uk to register, obviously all of the information is going on there including sponsorship opportunities that I’d encourage you to have a look at. Also come and have an exhibition stand at the event, again go through the website to have a look.
What opportunities are coming up for organisations to get involved with?
Preparations are fully underway for the National Apprenticeship Week and Worcestershire’s got a great story to tell with all its activity. There are apprenticeship vacancies currently on the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website, but if you’re an employer thinking about employing apprentices or how you go about that – support is out there for you. Look out next week for lots of activity about how we support apprentices here in Worcestershire, and we’re keen to get that support into nearly every sector in the county.
Brexit – although it feels like it’s gone off all of the headlines, 31st January is when we officially leave the EU with the withdrawal bill. Obviously things won’t change automatically, but what I’d still encourage businesses to do is look at the impacts on the way they operate currently and Worcestershire Business Central are running a number of workshops that you can get that information from – around tariffs, trade conditions and registrations that you or your suppliers might need to do. So do make those preparations and do go along to those free workshops.
Lots of things going on and lots of things to look forward to – do keep an eye on our website www.wlep.co.uk