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February Business & Policy Briefing

Overcoming the skills challenge

Last year Suffolk and Norfolk Chambers of Chambers of Commerce brought together employers, further education colleges and training providers to identify the skills issues faced by employers and discuss local solutions to tackle the issues. A report on issues, solutions and roadmaps for change was carefully studied by the Department for Education. As a result £4.75 million was awarded to Suffolk and Norfolk to help in improving local skills.

In March and April we will holding forum meetings across Suffolk so that you hear about the new skills initiatives that are being planned and you can give your views on what needs to be done to overcome skills challenges. The meetings will also be a great opportunity to network over refreshments, with other leading business people in your part of Suffolk.

The forum  meetings are free of charge for Chamber members, but meeting numbers are limited so please book your place as soon as possible.

Forum dates and locations are:

Central Suffolk Forum - 4pm to 5:30pm, 6th March 2024, Renvale, Eye

Our meeting will be kindly hosted by Renvale, at their new HQ near Eye. Renvale provide world leading wiring harness design and manufacturing services to the automotive and motorsport industries and are diversifying into other sectors such as marine and defence.

Please book here

East Suffolk Forum – 8:30 to 10am, 26th March, PCE Automation, Beccles

Our meeting will be kindly hosted by PCE Automation. PCE come up with bespoke solutions to global manufacturing challenges and are pioneers in the ocular, medical and pharmaceutical sectors,. In 2023 PCE won the King's Award for Enterprise, in recognition of a key innovative project in the ocular sector.

Please book here

Ipswich Forum – 8:30 to 10am, 27th March, Suffolk New College, Ipswich

Our meeting will be kindly hosted by Suffolk New College. Suffolk New College has recently invested in a Net Zero Skills Centre and Health Science Campus. The college is also responding to employer need for a soft skills development programme to ensure the employability skills in young people and adults are supporting their career aspirations and development.

Please book here

West Suffolk Forum – 8:30 to 10am, 24th April, CLAAS, Little Saxham

Our meeting will be kindly hosted by CLAAS. CLAAS is the European market leader in combine harvesters and world leader in forage harvesters. It is also a top performer in worldwide agricultural engineering with its tractors, agricultural balers and green harvesting machinery.

Please book here

BCC Publishes Blueprint to Drive Net-Zero Transition 

The British Chambers of Commerce ‘Green Innovation Challenge’ report has outlined a series of proposals for policymakers, to help accelerate the UK’s transition to net-zero.  

Among the recommendations in the report are: 

  • A new public body to oversee delivery of core climate policies
  • Strengthened resources for independent Climate Change Committee 
  • A robust Green Industrial Strategy from Government
  • A permanent cross-sector approach to green jobs from policymakers
  • Quicker Government action on financing the transition to net-zero through the tax system

Martha Lane Fox, President of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “One of the most pressing challenges for all business is the transition to a green and sustainable future. We will have no habitable planet if we don’t encourage rapid and effective actions. 

Our report outlines clear and realistic recommendations to accelerate the UK’s transition to net-zero. A robust strategy focused on delivery across the economy must be underpinned by clear and consistent messaging from Government.  

BCC research and engagement with businesses tells us that firms of all sizes want to play their part, but face barriers along the way.  

Read the report here

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Suffolk Chamber

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