Sara’s Blog – Business Leader’s Forum

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Yesterday I had the great pleasure of hosting our business leader’s forum. Being the first online forum there was no lunch and no informal networking before and after.

We had a good spread of delegates in attendance representing manufacturing, education, professional services, service industries, media and more.

However, despite the virtual setting we had a lively discussion and a chance to chew the fat over current hot topics including the phased return to work, holiday pay and the furlough scheme, and the effect of the pandemic on exporting and international trade.

It was another example of how we have adapted to the situation that Coronavirus- Covid 19 has put is in and shows how we have swiftly moved into a brave new world of work.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP Chairman Alun Rogers said, in his Chamber webinar this week: “Work is now a thing that we do, not a place that we go to.”

Whilst this is to some extent true, there are many businesses who are currently facing up to the challenge of re-opening offices and factories with new risk assessed layouts, PPE, and different patterns of work.

We are a hosting a very useful webinar at 10.00am tomorrow entitled ‘Manufacturing restart – a workplace guide from Michelin’

Michelin factory manager Francois Levert, production manager Alan Murdock and factory personnel manager Rob Hewitt will talk about physical adjustments to the offices and factory, new hygiene regime and PPE and the effect on shift patterns and working groups. Rob will also talk about communication with employees prior to re-opening, to reassure employees and make sure they are ready to return.

The webinar will also cover the need for education in new protocols before returning to the workshops.

I would recommend the webinar to anyone re-opening premises or looking to do so soon. You can book here:

For any business enquiries you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a weekday daily Twitter hour from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat

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