Chamber campaign seeks to address productivity gap


A major campaign designed to help businesses address the region’s alarming productivity gap is being launched by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

Growth Through People – which gets underway on Monday 26 February – is a month-long campaign of seminars, workshops and leadership content which aims to inspire businesses to develop skills within their organisation and manage employees more effectively.

GVA per head in West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area is £19,423 – nearly £3,500 lower than the national average.

At a national level, the UK’s productivity is 30 per cent lower than the USA and 35 per cent lower than Germany.

And new figures from the GBCC’s Quarterly Business Report for the fourth quarter of 2017 show that just 31 per cent of organisations in the region offer employees formal training opportunities in leadership and/or management skills and techniques.

Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships at GBCC, said:

“We are excited to be launching this campaign for the second year running.

“People are often a business’s biggest cost – and asset. These latest statistics show that many organisations in Greater Birmingham are not training their employees in leadership and people management, a key component of productivity which feeds into low productivity figures for the region.

“We hope that by offering these free sessions, professionals in the region will take up the opportunity to develop these crucial skills and that, long term, businesses might be encouraged to reconsider investing in them.

“The Chamber is striving to create a real, lasting change to the productivity gap in the region, and as always, to ensure our members are equipped with the best skills to thrive and grow.”

GBCC will deliver 20 events over four weeks in partnership with more than 40 organisations across the region.

Events will range from intimate, interactive workshops to larger, high-profile panel discussions.

All Growth Through People events are free to attend for Chamber members and non-member businesses.

Events include a session on the importance of Developing More Female Leaders on International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March), National Apprenticeship Week events and a ‘Get On Board’ event which will provide an overview of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s new pledge to encourage greater diversity at board level.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is the official partner for the first week of the campaign, focusing on Growth Through Responsible Leadership.

Aston University are sponsoring Growth Through Attracting & Retaining Talent week.

Sponsorship is available for the third week of the campaign – Growth Through Workplace Environment week.

Curium solutions are sponsoring Growth Through Unlocking Potential week.

For more information and to register your interest in the Growth Through People events click here.

To ensure Growth Through People has a lasting impact, the campaign will be followed by the release of new research into business views on leadership and management, and their impact on productivity.