Sara’s Blog: #StaffordshireDay, Future proofing the post-pandemic workforce, the Skills Hub and HR advice

This Saturday, 1st May is Staffordshire Day, a celebration of our wonderful county, its people, places, its creativity, and the business community.

As someone who has lived and worked in the county for a mere 10 years, I never cease to be amazed just what the county has to offer.

With unrivalled countryside, a creative and an industrial heritage that has reached all corners of the world, two excellent universities and of course a diverse and brilliant array of businesses from micro to blue chip global leaders, Staffordshire truly is an incredible place to live, work and play.

It is also a very special day as May 1st is the anniversary of our most famous son, Josiah Wedgwood, setting up his pottery company in 1759 and helping to transform Staffordshire into the centre of the world’s ceramics industry, a crown it still wears proudly 262 years later.

There are lots of virtual events planned on the day and throughout May. You can find out more here:

And don’t forget to use #StaffordshireDay on all social media posts.

I have been fascinated to read the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Barclays LifeSkills report, The next normal: Futureproofing the post-pandemic workforce.

The findings are from discussions during a series of roundtables with members of the UK Chambers of Commerce between November 2020 and February 2021.

The report finds that new ways of working introduced during the pandemic offer opportunities for employers and staff and highlights how supporting employees’ mental wellbeing and digital skills will become increasingly important.

It also shows that equipping school-leavers with key skills to deal with new working arrangements will be vital.

The report contains some crucial insights into the way employers have managed their workforces during the testing circumstances of last year and how they view the route forward post-pandemic.

It tells us that companies are now looking to the future of the workforce and are keen to grasp opportunities for both greater productivity and improved wellbeing of their employees.

However, businesses will need the necessary support to achieve these goals and the capability to adapt to shifting training priorities and new ways of working from top to bottom will be a key strength for any organisation.

Chambers of Commerce have a key role to play in helping firms recover from the effects of the pandemic and, in equipping employees and especially the next generation of employees coming into the workforce.

You can read the full report here:

We are incredibly fortunate to have the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Skills Hub based at the Chambers. They offer complete bespoke training packages for business with funding of 48 percent up to £5000.

To access the fund all businesses just need to undertake a skills review with a member of the Skills Hub team.

The Skills Hub has just passed a milestone in delivering funded training to their 300th client company in Staffordshire.  There are no limits to the type of business training on offer and there is also currently top-up funding available to cover the remaining 52 percent cost for eligible companies.

Also, we have Growth Hub HR advisor, Amanda Swann based at the Chambers. Amanda can help with any people and HR issues and signpost you to relevant support. Email Amanda:

For more information and to find out how you can benefit from the funded training on offer call the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Skills Hub on 0300 600 1066 or visit

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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