In the midst of the political noise surrounding the current Conservative leadership race and the UK’s departure from the EU, it is all too easy to lose sight of some of the most fundamental issues which impact businesses day-to-day.

It is vital that Brexit negotiations do not outweigh the other, equally pressing, issues including the national skills shortage. We need to act now to ensure there is a constant supply of appropriately skilled people entering the workforce both now and in the future.

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce is working with local organisations to examine the current labour market and lead change to continue to support businesses to thrive and grow.

I am delighted to share that we have now officially launched our Quarterly Economic Survey report for the first quarter of the year. The report has been generated based on feedback from over 600 businesses in the region that completed the QES earlier this year.

Regionally, it has allowed us to highlight the key concerns that businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are facing – helping us to prioritise our main policy concerns for the year. Nationally, the two counties’ high engagement with the survey means that our region represents 10 per cent of British Chambers of Commerce’s report.

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For the first quarter of the year, the Chamber partnered with the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the ‘Creating Our Future Workforce Campaign’. The joint venture was formed to provide an additional focus to the quarterly economic survey report, investigating the extent to which the Worcestershire labour market is comprised of an ageing workforce.

The report looks into topics such as cash flow, recruitment challenges, export projections and price pressures felt by the local business community. Despite demonstrating impressive resilience during 2018, the findings from this report show that persistent political and economic uncertainty has forced businesses to slam on the brakes.

To request a copy of the report, contact Poppy Bramford on