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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!

REMOVAL OF QUARANTINE FOR DOUBLE JABBED EU AND US NATIONALS TO ENTER ENGLAND IS GREAT NEWS – BCC 

 Responding to the news that fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US will not have to quarantine, British Chambers of Commerce Co-Executive Director, Claire Walker, said:      “For the hundreds of thousands of people directly employed in the travel industry and the many more that are part of supply chains, this will be welcome news."

TRADE STATS SHOW PANDEMIC MASKING BREXIT EFFECTS – BCC

Responding to yesterday's ONS trade statistics, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The pandemic and the shift to new trading conditions in how UK companies sell services to the EU have led to a clear reduction in UK-EU services trade compared with 2019. Today’s ONS data release shows services trade with the EU fell at a brisker rate than trade with the rest of the world over the two years to the end of March 2021. Services exports to the EU fell by 14.7% in that period and imports by 38.8%."

BCC SAYS MANY BUSINESSES FACE DIFFICULT WEEKS AHEAD DESPITE PLAN FOR SELF-ISOLATION EXEMPTIONS

While it will be a relief to some businesses in England that select critical workers can be exempt from self-isolation, it will leave many more still facing critical staff shortages and lost revenue as the number of people being asked to isolate remains high.

BCC Calls for Negotiated Settlement Following Latest NI Protocol Announcement

Responding to the announcement of the new UK approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “Businesses in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland need durable, workable, negotiated solutions on compliance with the Protocol to ensure the continued two-way flow of goods East-West and North-South. The UK Government and EU need to work together to find solutions which work for business."