People are at the heart of any business. Without them, companies simply couldn’t operate. Yet never has there been a time where firms have found it so hard to find the people they need to grow and succeed. That’s why Doncaster Chamber and its work through Opportunities Doncaster is campaigning to help make the UK a more productive, attractive and modern place to work.
Access to people is one of the biggest issues facing our business community.
Doncaster Chamber members 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 businesses struggle to find the right people for their teams. British Chambers of Commerce 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 work of a new Workplace Training and Development Commission.
- Showcasing the range of diverse career paths on offer in Doncaster as part of the Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase Days (Industry Visits).
- Championing progressive employment by encouraging and enabling members to adapt their working practices in order to attract new and diverse talent.
Workplace training and development commission
Launching in the Autumn, this UK-wide, policy-led Commission will create a strategy to make the skills system work better for business. It will focus on:
- Opportunities to support and incentivise businesses in training, upskilling and re-skilling.
- Developing the adult workforce (i.e. employees over the age of 25) already in work.
- Practical and pragmatic recommendations for policy development, spanning the next 10-15 years.
Commissioners will be high profile, influential thinkers and leaders in their field and in the skills arena.
The first consultation period of the Commission will open imminently and we will be collating member views to support Doncaster Chamber's submission to the Commission.
Business Showcase Days (industry visits)
We know that businesses across Doncaster can struggle to attract and retain homegrown talent, and that school and college leavers aren’t aware of the job prospects in local firms. Doncaster Chamber is uniquely placed to help our community thrive and introduce people to the career opportunities in local companies.
In February 2020, the Chamber Network will be running Business Showcase Days to open 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.
Opportunities Doncaster will be launching both the Doncaster Promise and Doncaster Business Showcase Days by December 2019 (further details to follow).
Championing a flexible working culture
The third chapter of the campaign will be to support business in the recruitment and retention of a skilled and diverse workforce. British Chambers of Commerce research shows a 39% increase in the number of employees requesting flexible working arrangements compared to two years ago.
To be launched in 2020, the flexible working initiative will provide members with the guidance and resources to create modern, flexible working environments for all employees.
The focus is to enable our members 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.