Chamber Chat – Gemma Collins

November 23, 2017 - 10:00am

Chamber Chat – Gemma Collins

Six years this month I began my career with the Chamber with little business experience and limited knowledge on the business world, Ann Morris (ex-Chamber CEO) kindly took a chance on me and I wouldn't be here today without her or Vicky Lofthouse supporting me all the way.

Recruitment and skills gaps has been highlighted as an issue for businesses, however you could see this is an opportunity, an opportunity to find someone who doesn't necessarily fit the job spec but is a perfect fit with your organisation and ethos, it’s about the individual not just what’s written on paper. Take that chance and you have an opportunity to mould an individual to your organisation.

There is evidence which suggests upskilling existing staff and moulding a new member of staff can have productivity benefits, improve overall staff retention and satisfaction which can ultimately save you money.

Feedback from employers consulted for the Priority Sector skills plans confirms the current difficulties of recruiting experienced personnel in many sectors. These appear to be industry wide in many cases, and not restricted to Lancashire. This exacerbates the challenge for local employers. (Skills in Lancashire, A COMPREHENSIVE EVIDENCE BASE OF SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT ISSUES, Report 2015 LEP)

I am not saying it is easier but a little extra time to mould them and embed the skills they need makes them an ambassador for your company and likely to retain them.

There is support to help you, Learn Direct are offering a bespoke development programme to raise attainment levels, increase apprenticeship participation and reduce skills shortages that can restrict the growth and productivity of your business. If you are based in Lancashire, you could be eligible for fully funded training and development of all levels, please speak to your local Chamber for signposting.