Our thoughts today are with all those who have suffered loss and personal tragedy as a result of the horrific attack at the Manchester Arena last night. We are proud of the community spirit demonstrated in the aftermath by the leaders and people of the great City of Manchester. We pledge to stand together with you in the weeks and months ahead.
Business chiefs have called for greater devolution to UK cities and regions as the next government focuses on Brexit negotiations.
In a joint letter to the political parties, the North West Business Leadership Team, representing national and international businesses with substantial commitments in the North West, London First, whose members include over 200 of the capital’s leading companies, and Centre for Cities, an independent think tank dedicated to improving UK city economies, have argued that greater control over the revenues generated by locally raised taxes – such as property and council taxes – would give local institutions greater incentive to drive investment and growth, and the means to fund it.
BT today announced it is creating about 180 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs in the North West in its drive to equip young people with the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of a changing jobs market.
About 180 apprentices and graduates will be recruited in locations such as Manchester, Stockport, Liverpool, Warrington and Accrington. This year’s BT apprentice and graduate recruitment, which includes mobile operator EE, will see the new employees work in a variety of roles, ranging from customer service, vehicle maintenance and billing to cyber security and software development.
Leading business organisations – the North West Business Leadership Team, the Institute of Directors and the CBI – have come together to agree what good looks like in the world of education and skills, in an attempt to help move this vital agenda forward.
During a full day workshop, senior leaders from some of the region’s leading employers came together with skills and policy specialists from the CBI and IoD in order to use their combined expertise to create a Skills Charter, written from the ‘demand side’. This Charter sets out not only what these organisations need from the world of education and skills, but also – crucially – what they (and other organisations) can do to help bring this change about.
The North West Business Leadership Team have launched #NWBLTBusiness Matters campaign which highlights some of positive contributions our members make to the region and the country. The campaign uses a cartoon characters to highlight the facts in a lighthearted manner – printed copies of the cards are available from the NWBLT office.
The North West Business Leadership Team is extremely sad to note the sudden death of His Grace the Duke of Westminster KG CB CVO OBE TD CD DL in Lancashire on 9 August 2016. His Grace served as the Chairman of NWBLT from 1990 to 1997 inclusive and played a key role in establishing the reputation of the organisation throughout the region and nationally as well as initiating and leading a number of successful investment projects in the North West. Our thoughts are with Her Grace The Duchess of Westminster and all their family at this very sad time.
At the International Festival for Business 2016 in Liverpool the North West Business Leadership Team today agreed a plan to help deliver the economic ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse. The discussion was held at the request of the IFB2016 leadership and comes at a crucial time in the development of the North. It provided a significant opportunity for business leaders to help shape the future of this important agenda.
Forty business leaders attended the landmark event with the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Jim O’Neill, the Government Minister responsible for City devolution and the North. The business leaders endorsed a series of priority actions, all underpinned by the transport improvements planned by Transport for the North.
Sandy Lindsay MBE, founder and chair of Tangerine, is to join the North West Business Leadership Team, an independent group of influential business leaders who work together to promote the sustainable economic development and long-term well-being of England’s North West.
Membership is by invitation only and is made up of approximately 30 senior executives from the region’s major businesses. It operates as an independent business voice for the North West, providing valuable strategic support and influencing policy.
North West MPs met today for their latest business briefing with the North West Business Leadership Team and invited guests at the House of Commons. On this occasion the briefing focused mainly on NWBLT’s forthcoming report on productivity. The event was sponsored by Siemens, BAE Systems and Bright Future Software and was hosted by Weaver Vale MP, Graham Evans.
Juergen Maier (NWBLT Chair and CEO of Siemens UK) gave an overview of key issues facing business in the North West, describing the overall mood as ‘cautiously optimistic’. Geoffrey Piper (CEO, NWBLT) introduced the NWBLT’s proposed productivity report, due to be published in 2016 with recommendations for addressing the productivity challenge regionally and nationally. The final speaker was Eudie Thompson (Founder and CEO of Bright Future Software) on the role of apprenticeship training in software development.
The meeting concluded with contributions from North West MPs on subjects ranging from investment in transport links to the adoption of the Living Wage and improved training in technical skills.
In addition to the highly stimulating “Feeding the Creative Spark” debate, those fortunate enough to attend NWBLT’s July Forum had the opportunity to see a short film entitled “Filaments – Tracing the Thread in the Cumbrian Landscape’. The “Filaments” film is a delightful representation of the creativity behind the art exhibition mounted by Jenny Ryrie RBSA, David Heke and Liz Ellis in Keswick, Cumbria, earlier this year – the official 2015 “Words by the Water” Literature Festival exhibition held at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Please click through to see the film.