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People Campaign

Access to people is one of the biggest issues facing our business communities. Firms of all sizes and sectors are grappling with skills shortages, falling productivity and the changing nature of the workplace.

Multiple changes to the skills system, varying quality training and resources and an evolving working environment mean that UK business struggle to find the right people for their teams. Chamber research shows that over half of UK businesses say the time taken to fill average vacancies is longer than five years ago.

The Chamber Network is working with government, businesses, academics and employees to address these crucial issues by focusing on three key areas:

  • Shaping policy through the publication of two reports looking at the future of the workforce - see details below.
  • Showcasing the range of diverse career paths on offer in towns and cities across the UK via Business Showcase Days. 
  • Championing progressive employment by encouraging and enabling firms to adapt their working practices in order to attract new and diverse talent.
Amazon's Career Choice programme

Amazon's Career Choice programme

Amazon is creating 10,000 new permanent jobs and investing £10 million across the country to train their staff in skills that are in short supply in the local economy, via their Career Choice programme.

Accredited Chambers of Commerce will have the opportunity to work with Amazon to identify regional skills shortages ensuring training is focused on local needs.

The company will provide classroom-based learning through Amazon Career Choice, as well as exploring opportunities with the Accredited Chamber of Commerce network to provide practical work experience and mentoring in employees’ chosen future professions.

The 10,000 new permanent jobs that Amazon will create in the UK this year will include roles in both its corporate offices and operations network. Corporate roles will be available in offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cambridge across a wide range of fields including:

  • fashion
  • digital marketing
  • engineering
  • video production
  • AI and machine learning, and more.

Find out more
​​Workplace Training and Development Commission

​​Workplace Training and Development Commission

This UK-wide, policy-led Commission examined the skills system from the employer’s perspective and focused on the needs of adults in the workplace. It covered:

  • Opportunities to support and incentivise businesses to invest in training, upskilling and re-skilling.
  • Developing the skills of adults in the workplace.
  • Practical and pragmatic recommendations for policy development.

The Report makes recommendations for policy makers and employers on how to make the skills system more effective. During the Inquiry, our Commissioners issued a Call for Evidence and a progress report.

Contact Jane Gratton for more information.

Download the report here
The Next Normal - futureproofing the workforce for a post-pandemic world

The Next Normal - futureproofing the workforce for a post-pandemic world

Few events within BCC’s lifetime – with the exception of two world wars – have created business uncertainty on the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic. Well over a year on from the discovery of the virus, it is still having a profound impact on firms up and down the country.

This report, published in partnership with Barclays Life Skills, describes how this pandemic-led uncertainty has affected the ways in which businesses have managed their workforces, and how it may permanently change how they are managed in the future.

Our findings were the result of conversations with Chamber of Commerce members from across the UK.

The hope is that this report’s conclusions can be used by businesses, educators and policymakers alike to understand more about how the UK workforce can be futureproofed so as to remain dynamic, productive and globally competitive.

Download the report here
Business Showcase Days

Business Showcase Days

This national initiative opened the doors of Chambers and businesses to their local communities, providing a chance for people to see first-hand the range of different career paths on offer in local businesses.

Chambers tell us that businesses across the UK are struggling to attract and retain homegrown talent, and that school and college leavers aren’t aware of the job prospects in local firms. Chambers of Commerce are uniquely placed to help their local communities thrive and introduce them to the career opportunities in local companies.

Business Showcase Days also helped Chambers build connections with local schools and colleges and position Chambers at the forefront of harnessing and developing local talent.

​Championing a Flexible Working Culture

​Championing a Flexible Working Culture

The third phase of the campaign will be to support business in the recruitment and retention of a skilled and diverse workforce. Our research found a 39% increase in the number of employees requesting flexible working arrangements compared to two years ago. The flexible working initiative will provide firms with the guidance and resources to create modern, flexible working environments for all employees.

The focus is to enable firms to recruit from a wider talent pool and retain workers who might otherwise leave the business by helping firms establish their own flexible working policies.

Together our campaign will celebrate, support and develop the people at the heart of our business community.

There are numerous ways to get involved, so get in touch with the Chamber team today!

‘A Thimble Of Water To Put Out A Bonfire’ - BCC On Temporary Visas For Drivers And Food Workers

BCC President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE said: “Government has made clear its priority is to transition from a reliance on EU workers to a focus on the domestic workforce, and businesses have been ready to participate in this, but it is a long-term project. “A managed transition, with a plan agreed between government and business, should have been in place from the outset. Instead, the supply of EU labour was turned off with no clear roadmap as to how this transition would be managed without disruption to services and supply chains.

Do you have enough on your plate running a business? A smart meter could help

Running your very own restaurant, coffee shop or bar might be a dream, but you are up against huge competition, and it can be tough out there. Smart meters send your gas and electricity readings directly to your energy supplier, saving you time to focus on other jobs.

BCC calls for summit to resolve supply chain crunch

The supply chain disruption must not be allowed to worsen over the next few months in the run up to Christmas.

BCC says government must step up on energy supply security

Government must do all it can to safeguard security of supply and ensure that customers and suppliers have access to the support they need to weather this difficult period.