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Date Posted... Sep 15th 2021

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View from the Chamber – September 2021

The summer seems to have flown by! It was a very nice surprise to get a mini heatwave for the August Bank Holiday – especially as the week before had felt so autumnal.  

Heading into the summer months back in June, we already knew we were going to have problems with staffing – largely due to Brexit and a lack of housing. However, I don’t think any of us anticipated the impact a ‘pingdemic’ would have, putting our brilliant cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and the like under immense pressure. 

Whilst Cornwall Chamber of Commerce is traditionally a B2B organisation, the issues Cornwall has faced this summer impact every organisation and individual in the Duchy. It’s important we do whatever we can to make sure these fundamental structural problems are not simply brushed under the carpet in the hope that they won’t be an issue in future summers. 

Cornwall needs a regenerative, sustainable tourism model, and we will support organisations like Visit Cornwall and Cornwall Council in any way we can to help them get the balance right. 

For many businesses who haven’t had the chaotic summer some have experienced, the start of September carries all the anticipation and excitement that the start of a new school year does. Staff come back refreshed after taking some annual leave, and many managers have had enough breathing space to reset their business aspirations and plan for the future. 

Planning for the future is still daunting for many businesses: with a pandemic of our own here in Cornwall at the moment it’s still difficult for many organisations to make firm long term plans, but with restrictions eased and death rates staying down, we can start to look forward. 

At the Chamber, we are heavily focused on the skills shortage in Cornwall and how we can change that. As part of our fundamental role in helping businesses thrive, we have secured three separate contracts to deliver skills support in the Duchy: 

Through the Skills Hub, we are programming events to help the business community upskill its workforce and refocus after the pandemic.  

Our Employer Led Skills (ELS) project offers practical, flexible, and effective accredited, non-accredited and bespoke training that can be specified by an individual employer to upskill and reskill over 3,000 individuals across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly between now and 2023. 

Through the Business Clusters project, we procure specialist training provision and support the needs of businesses in priority geographical clusters and sectors. This is a fantastic scheme that will run until December 2023, engaging and supporting SMEs and micro-businesses locally to determine their workforce skills needs, and co-design and pilot new training programmes to enhance the industry-relevance of the local educational offer. 

For more information on any of the above, please email hello@cornwallchamber.co.uk or call us on 01209 216006. There’s support out there, and if businesses access it when it’s on offer, we stand a good chance of making Cornwall a fantastic place to work for the next generations.  

Kim Conchie

Chief Executive, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Deputy Lieutenant, OT Parent, Foundation Trustee

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