Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 20 May 2016

First published in the Worcester News on 20 May 2016

This week the Government’s #GetInGoFar national campaign has continued to highlight how important apprenticeships are to our future workforce. Do remember to get the recognition for the excellent local apprenticeship programmes you are responsible for by submitting nominations to the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards before 30 June deadline at www.worcsapprenticeships.org.uk

Last week, we were pleased to announce the new £1.5m Engineering Centre of Excellence for Redditch which will train up to 200 young apprentice engineers over the next 4 years. The new centre is being funded with £800,000 investment from Midland Group Training Services (MGTS), who will run the new facility, as well as the Government’s Growth Deals for Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEPs. This has also been made possible working with businesses, Redditch Borough Council and North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWEDR) and is great news for both the region, and the County.

We continue to work to understand the potential impact of a new UTC (University Technical College) for the provision of science, technology, engineering and maths skills in the County. We want to hear from as many businesses as possible before 29 May deadline and so please complete the survey on the WLEP’s website.

Excellent business support is also a key priority locally and this week has been National Growth Hub Week. Worcestershire.Business.Central., which was the first Growth Hub of its kind across the West Midlands, has been taking part to highlight the range of support that is on offer and I would encourage you to visit www.business-central.co.uk today and join the conversation on Twitter using #GrowthHubs.

One opportunity that I would personally like to highlight, which was outlined at our 2015 Annual Conference, is for growing businesses to apply to join the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme. A link to apply before the 6 June 2016 deadline is available as this is a huge opportunity which supports entrepreneurs to create jobs whilst providing 100 hours of teaching from leading experts.