Policy Spotlight with Rhouda: New job opportunities to be supported by county-wide skills programme

The Government has announced the launch of a new programme aiming to boost adult numeracy skills, leading to better job prospects and improving day-to-day living for people across Staffordshire.

The Multiply Programme will help boost confidence and assist individuals with career progression whilst also supporting the Government’s Levelling Up mission to ensure that the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have increased by 2030.

The Programme is targeted at Staffordshire residents aged 19 and over who have not achieved a maths GCSE of at least Grade C or equivalent, individuals who want to develop numeracy skills for work or progression and anyone who want to brush up and develop their numeracy skills for everyday life.

Sara Williams, CEO at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “As firms across the country are facing recruitment difficulties as well as dealing with skills shortages, the support provided through the countywide skills programme will come as a welcomed relief for businesses.

“As the programme starts to roll out later this year, it will be fantastic to see the involvement of local education providers, employers and job centres to help support the development of careers in the region and build connections and partnerships so that we can continue to level up Staffordshire.”

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, Philip White, has confirmed that there will be a significant amount of funding to run the Multiply Scheme in Staffordshire ahead of its autumn launch.

The County Council has been allocated £4.2 million by the Government as part of the £570 million Multiply Scheme. The programme will be carried out over three years and will give people the opportunity to learn when and where they want.

More information on the programme will be released by the Council including details on how to get involved.

Service Industries: Key Economic Indicators

Data regarding key economic indicators for the service industries has been published by the House of Commons.

Service industries including the retail sector, the financial sector, the public sector, business administration and leisure and cultural activities accounted for 80% of the total UK economic output and 82% of employment in the period between April-June 2021.

In the three months to March 2022 compared to the three months to March 2021, services input increased by 9.9%. However, the UK services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 51.8 in the flash estimate for May 2022 which was down from 58.9 in April to its lowest level since February 2021.

It is clear that a slowdown in demand has been caused by economic uncertainty, largely triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as an increasing cost of doing business.

Chambers across the network continue to urge Government to support firms by relieving them of the financial pressures that they are currently facing in order to improve their productivity and volume of output, ultimately strengthening the economic development of the country.

If you want to talk to us about business issues highlighted above, or any other issues including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or email rhouda.elalfy@staffordshirechambers.co.uk.

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