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Local Manufacturers Highlight Post Brexit Workforce and Power Infrastructure as Priorities for Growth

Corin CraneThe Black Country Chamber of Commerce held a roundtable meeting on Tuesday 5th September at Novotel Wolverhampton, with some of the area’s key manufacturing employers in attendance. Chaired by Chamber President, Adrian Wright, the strategic meeting sought to gain a better understanding of the problems manufacturers across the region currently face, and what the Chamber can do to help raise the profile of these issues.

The businesses in attendance prioritised a number of priority issues that they would like to see action on, including increased engagement with Westminster with regards to Brexit; greater capacity for industry to work with education providers in order to address the skills gaps across the sector; clearer routes for SMEs to secure funding to help finance innovative projects that ensure competitiveness on an international scale; increased collaboration between business support organisations; and more reliable and cost-effective solutions relating to power and utilities.

With a particular focus on Brexit, businesses in attendance expressed a concern over the lack of clarity coming from central Government, especially with regards to freedom of movement for EU nationals and post-Brexit trade relations with individual European states. In addition to Brexit, those who took part in the roundtable discussion also brought up the issue of power infrastructure, with particular concern around cost and reliability.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “As a region, the Black Country has a rich manufacturing heritage that serves as an integral component of the local business landscape and is complemented by a vast number of companies that are striving in their respective fields, but we now also need to look to the future. Industry 4.0 is widely heralded as the next phase of manufacturing and as a region we need to support these new innovations to drive growth in the economy, whilst harnessing the next generation of manufacturing expertise.

“Through our Manufacturing Campaign we aim to raise the awareness and profile of manufacturing in the Black Country on a national scale, developing a strong network of companies and a cohesive programme of support activities.”

As part of the Manufacturing Focus campaign, the Black Country Chamber will be running a programme of events to provide relevant and up-to-date insight to manufacturers throughout the region. The first of these will be a special campaign launch event being held on 20th October at the Grand Station in Wolverhampton from 7.30am until 9.30am. To register your free place to attend please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/bcc-events/manufacturing-links/manufacturing-focus-campaign-launch.

To get involved with the Black Country Chamber’s Manufacturing Focus campaign, and for more information, please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/policy-campaigns/manufacturing.

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