Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 24th July 2023

24th July 2023


The team at Surrey Chambers has been taking advantage of a slight pause in activities to work on an exciting programme of events from early September. As well as the usual business breakfasts and members networking evenings we also have some really topical events for local businesses. We are delighted to be relaunching our Annual Property lunch, bringing together a sector, which loves to network.

Skills and recruitment

In all of our conversations and research we often hear that businesspeople are not aware of various opportunities that could really enhance their businesses. One of our major focusses at the chamber is to fill that gap and help disseminate messages on all sorts of topics. Following the findings of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which identified a need to improve the sharing of information, advice and guidance we have created a Future Skills Forum, taking place on the 19th September at Farnham Castle. By bringing everyone together we will be able to increase knowledge and awareness significantly. It will also contribute to some key partnerships, which will result in collaborative working within sectors.

During the session attendees will be able to:

  • Find out the latest market information within their sector
  • Hear what local providers are doing to help upskill their workforce
  • Make some great connections within their sector and beyond
  • Discover some creative ways of increasing the productivity of their business
  • Learn ways in which they can enhance their knowledge about the ways their business can support reaching net zero

Still on the subject of people and recruitment we are running some sessions on looking at untapped sources of talent. We are encouraging businesses to think outside the box and consider employing people from a wider pool of talent. In Surrey there are around 12000 autistic people, many of whom would love to be working but they find the application process a real barrier. Once they secure a job, they become key employees and contribute a great deal to the business. In addition, there is a great deal of support available to help employers to understand the kind of adjustments they may need to make. We will be sharing this information in 3 locations around Surrey!

Our National Network

Whilst we are delivering locally we are also working as a network across the country and with our team in Westminster (the British Chambers of Commerce-BCC) to create a platform for the larger businesses to have a direct voice into government. Last month, we announced the formation of a National Business Council, with Heathrow, Drax, IHG Hotels & Resorts and BP joining as the first founding partners. The National Business Council will provide a new unified voice for firms up and down the country, developing business-backed, pro-growth policies to support the UK economy. This will enhance and add to the voice that all of our members already have in Westminster.

The work of the Council will be focused on 5 key areas-People and Work, Global Britain, Digital Revolution, Green Innovation and Future of the High Street. Surrey is well represented across these groups particularly with members Heathrow involved and  Michael Hayman MBE DL (in Surrey), co-founder of StartUp Britain and Chairman of Entrepreneurs at Coutts & Co as chair of the Global Britain sub group. We look forward to being involved in all 5 areas, ensuring that our local Surrey messages are heard.

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