Members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Employability Group assemble at Holiday Inn, Kenilworth
A group has been launched to help tackle the issues around employability and skills in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Employability Group has been established by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and was borne out of discussions around a shortage of staff and skills at its Mid-Warwickshire branch meetings.
The group includes representatives from business, education and local authorities.
The first meeting heard that companies right across the region can tap into support from the Chamber if they are facing a barrier to growth because they cannot find suitable people to fill vacancies they have.
The Chamber can also help to sign-post companies to other forms of support that can help them to look at different ways of bridging the skills gap – from growing their own through apprenticeships or help for people with disabilities to get into work.
Martyne Manning, a business coach and policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The issue around the skills gap and the skills shortage has been a hot topic of conversation at our branches across the region for some time.
“The concerns around Brexit and what this may mean in terms of hiring staff from the EU have exacerbated the problem and it led to the launch of this group.
“While it has come out of the Mid-Warwickshire branch at the instigation of branch chair David Myskow, it is relevant to the whole region and its work will benefit businesses and individuals across the patch.
“We know it’s not an issue that can be solved overnight but this group is going to ensure that we look at every way possible to support businesses in their quest to grow and take on staff.
“The Chamber itself can offer business coaching to companies around the search for new staff or, indeed, upskilling the current workforce to meet the growing demands of the company.
“There are lots of alternatives that businesses can look at to try to solve this issue – including everything from apprenticeships through to bringing in people who have, for one reason or another, been outside the workplace for some time. We can work with businesses to see what is right for them.
“That said there is no doubt that there are fundamental issues that need looking at too and we meet regularly with MPs across the county and the city and it’s a topic we are going to keep firmly on their radar.”
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