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  • Coventry & Warwickshire businesses meet Bank of England The Bank of England has been given an insight into the economy of Coventry and Warwickshire. Graeme Chaplin, the Bank of England’s agent for the West Midlands, met members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce at Coombe Abbey. He gave an economic outlook and indicated that future interest rate rises would be slow and gradual, as and when the Bank felt that the UK economy was ready for less stimulus. Graeme said that the Bank of England did not want to ‘spook’ businesses and individuals with interest rate rises at a time of uncertainty around Brexit. Firms fed back that there were a variety of pressures on growth including the rising costs of raw materials, shortages of skilled staff – exacerbated by Brexit – and, in this region, a lack of new employment land. Ajay Desai, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, said: “Our members provide an insight into what is happening in the real world of business. “The Bank, of course, looks at the statistics and the trends but I know Graeme finds it extremely useful to meet companies from a range of sectors to hear how they are growing and what, if any pressures, could be holding that back. “The general mood is positive but, of course, there is a big unknown on the horizon. Brexit hasn’t affected short term decisions being made by companies across the patch but we will watch closely to see as and when that starts to kick in.” Pictured: Graeme Chaplin (front, second left) with members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce  
  • Mazars puts Brexit under the spotlight International accounting and advisory firm Mazars is joining forces with HSBC Bank the day after the UK is due to trigger Brexit to present a business lunch on Thursday 30 March for companies from the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Mazars partner Vesko Petkov, who leads the International Tax practice in the Midlands, will be commenting on key corporation tax matters that have arisen from both the Budget and recent global events. HSBC’s head of economics, Mark Berrisford-Smith, will explore the state of the UK economy and the challenges for the future. He noted: “Once we trigger Article 50 the clock starts ticking for the UK. “We know we only have two years to get something sorted or we just drop out. The EU has no such deadline to work to. We have a rocky road ahead.” But Brexit is not the only bump on that road. Mr Berrisford-Smith added: “A sluggish global economy and no clarity on what President Trump’s economic policy will mean for global trade, will both contribute to the ride.” The lunch is being held on Thursday at Saxon Mills near Warwick. A diverse spread of local businesses is due to attend for what promises to be a lively and interesting debate.    
  • West Midlands School Leaders Conference to help Shape the Changing Educational Landscape West Midlands School Leaders Conference to Empower Senior Staff to help Shape the Changing Educational Landscape On Wednesday 17th May, school leaders from across the West Midlands will once again gather for the highly-anticipated West Midlands School Leaders Annual Conference. The focus of the day is how the educational landscape is changing and ways that school leaders can get involved to drive the agenda for this new landscape. Hosted once again by BBC Midlands Today presenter, Mary Rhodes, the packed conference programme will include information on how networks of support can be unlocked through the £140million Strategic School Improvement Fund. A plethora of high-profile figures are speaking including The Baroness Estelle Morris (former Secretary of State for Education and Skills), Ann Mroz (Editor and Digital Publishing Director of TES), Christine Quinn (Regional Schools Commissioner for West Midlands) and Lorna Fitzjohn (Regional Director, West Midlands for Ofsted). The Conference is officially supported by TES and will bring together primary and secondary school leaders, educationalists, governors and local authority leaders from across the region. The Conference provides a mixture of presentations, interactive sessions and facilitated dialogue which will focus on the progress of the school-led system and its sustainable developments. There will also be an opportunity to strengthen networks in the six West Midlands sub-regional groups, which will be invaluable in the development of more local and relevant approaches. Andrew Warren, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, and Richard Gill, the West Midlands Representative on the Council, agreed that: “With the continuing changes to the educational landscape, this conference will provide a vital forum for delegates to discover how to be at the centre of the ...
  • Employers bowled over by top advice tips Over 40 employers joined lawyers from a Midlands firm to take part in an interactive employment advice seminar in Birmingham. The Employment Law team from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford and Wolverhampton, teamed up with Monaco Insurance to host a Top Ten Employment Blunders seminar at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. It was the first time the law firm had taken their renowned presentation to Birmingham, and the response from delegates has been so positive that more events are planned for the future. Employment Law Specialist, John Mehtam, who led the presentation said the decision to take the seminar to the city was as a direct result of customer demand. “We work very closely with Monaco Insurance, who are based in Edgbaston, and they felt the advice we had to offer would be very useful for their clients and for other businesses in the wider Birmingham area. “Our presentations have always proved extremely successful in Shropshire, Wales, and the West Midlands, and now the response from our Birmingham audience means we will definitely be returning in the coming months.” During the event, Mr Mehtam shared his advice to help businesses navigate through the increasingly-complicated minefield of employment law, and to help them avoid the most common pitfalls. “We covered suggestions on how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance – and perhaps more importantly, we looked at how to avoid these situations and protect your business. “At Martin-Kaye, we’re committed to delivering effective and appropriate advice that really does make a difference to employers, and our short sharp seminars are designed to get right to the point.” John said keeping ...
  • Hundreds flock to business expo in Warwickshire Hundreds of companies crossed county boundaries to create new business links in the region. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Solihull Chamber of Commerce held a joint Business & Trade Expo at the Heart of England Conference Centre in Fillongley, in the north of Warwickshire. More than 100 exhibitors – from a range of sectors – were joined by hundreds more visitors at the event, which was sponsored by WarwickNet and Microsoft. John Nollett, the president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, said: “Business has never really recognised boundaries. We will work together for the good of our own companies and for the good of the economy. “Events like this are a great way of meeting potential new customers and suppliers and also sharing information with one another.” Kevin Johns, the new president of the Solihull Chamber, added: “The advent of the WMCA and the new metro mayor is helping to break down barriers at a political level in the region. “But companies from across the entire West Midlands region have always done business together and it would be great if the new political horizon led to that happening even more.” Pictured: Exhibitors and visitors at the Chamber’s Business & Trade Expo