Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 2nd October 2023

9th October 2023


Future Skills Forum Launch

Around a year ago we started our journey to create a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) incorporating all of Surrey and part of Hampshire. Over 1000 employer and skills provider interactions later we presented our findings to the DFE and to all the stakeholders, outlining the actions needed to make the local skills provision more responsive to employer’s needs. We were hugely supported by Businesses, Providers and other Stakeholders giving their time to help us on this journey and we wanted to record our thanks publicly.

One of the actions was to create a Future Skills Forum, which was launched in September. The event was a tremendous success, and we were delighted to collect commitments from 25 employers, keen to engage with skills providers. We are eager to hear from any businesses wanting to get involved and I am delighted to welcome back to the Chamber, Tom Woods as our Business Connector for this project.

Surrey Business Awards

I was delighted to be part of the judging process for the Surrey Business Awards, recently, and the quality of the entries was excellent. Close to my heart is the Chamber Member of the Year award and shortlisted for this were Login Lounge, Surrey translation Bureau, Something Big, NatWest and Impact for Good, all incredibly supportive businesses and should all be winners!

As part of the national network

One of the unique benefits of being a Surrey Chambers member is that we are directly linked into the decision makers in Westminster, giving us the opportunity to influence Policy decisions affecting us as businesses. Our Business Council was launched recently, alongside Cabinet Minister, the Rt Hon Michael Gove and Shadow Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rachel Reeves, with a focus on 5 key areas-People and Work, Global Britain, Digital Revolution, Green Innovation and Future of the High Street. We are always keen to hear from anyone, locally, who would like to contribute to these groups. We have also created an action plan to present to all political parties. We are calling for urgent action from politicians to stimulate economic growth across the UK. Among the key asks are; Better planning for business so that firms are not squeezed out of towns and cities; Introduction of flexibility in the apprenticeship levy to support everyone in the workplace; Strengthened UK-EU co-operation to increase bi-lateral investment levels; Dramatic energy grid upgrades to ensure there is sufficient network capacity to meet modern needs. Action on these key issues will make a significant difference for the tens of thousands of businesses we represent as a network, but as one of the most productive areas in the country we need to access support that makes sure we continue to be the vibrant Surrey economy, which contributes significantly to UK plc.

The Woking Means Business exhibition.

Coming up fast is Woking means Business exhibition taking place at Woking Leisure Centre on Wednesday 11th October celebrating its 20th anniversary. Following a pre-show Breakfast the exhibition will open, with nearly 70 exhibitors displaying their products and services, ensuring another good use of time. Visitors can pop along for free and meet many small and medium sized companies offering everything from print, design, HR, design, websites, photography, displays, IT support, promotional gifts, therapies, garden offices, ergonomic furniture and much more besides. Businesses will also have the opportunity to meet Woking and Surrey Chambers of Commerce and learn even more about local support available.


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