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New research reveals business confidence levels in Calderdale

At Calderdale College, we support and educate people and businesses in our local area, with a focus on championing Calderdale in order to see our region thrive.

Keen to discover the challenges local businesses are currently facing, and offer practical solutions, The Rise team at Calderdale College recently conducted an independent study across the region. The study focused upon confidence levels across Calderdale’s businesses to gauge how our district is performing economically and how we can hope to help it prosper.

Our research analysed the attitudes of more than 270 business owners and decision makers in the area as we move into the second half of 2020, and showcases key opportunities for businesses, whilst also revealing common hurdles faced by leaders.

Unsurprisingly, results revealed that a large proportion (two thirds) of companies in the district are currently facing difficulties due to the pandemic, this was coupled with an encouraging continued importance being placed on team development and progression; with 90% of businesses interested in developing their skills through training in order to enhance their team, boost performance and benefit their business.

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The study also highlighted a district-wide skills gap, with a quarter of businesses reportedly experiencing a skills shortage, with tech, IT and digital abilities proving the most in-demand across all industry sectors. This led to business leaders raising concerns around the ongoing impact COVID-19 will have on their business performance, with one-in-three struggling with challenges relating to finance, staff shortages and managing increased workloads. Yet, despite a need for more skills, nearly half still had staff on furlough – revealing on ongoing issue around skills funding and access.

A positive outcome the team at Rise uncovered, was that most businesses owners (90%) are interested in investing in skills training as a means to boost their company’s performance. We are also pleased to see apprenticeships have re-built momentum, a key offering from Rise, believed to be in response to the new government financial incentives for apprenticeships.

Ebrahim Dockrat, Director of Commercial Services and Partnerships at Calderdale College, commented: “It’s no secret that business confidence has dropped over recent months, we have - for the first time in recent history - been challenged with overcoming global economic adversity. Yet, despite this, the Calderdale business community continues to be proactive in its stance on skills, with 90% of Calderdale decision makers interested in developing their team’s skills through training. It’s clear that Calderdale businesses are serious about the importance of skills as part of the district’s recovery and this is reflected in the uplift in interest for apprenticeship scheme in local workplaces.”

Ebrahim continued, “Leaders remain cautious, but are now looking at ways to strengthen their workforces and develop skills and expertise. That’s where services like Rise offer so much value. We are working hand in hand with companies across the Valley to offer support, training and funding, all of which are proving vital services as businesses embark on the road to economic recovery in the Calder Valley.”

Here at Rise we offer skills and expertise to local businesses. We help businesses to grow by offering support, training and funding. Our team of expert advisors will work with employers to identify the skills needs within businesses and recommend appropriate solutions from our comprehensive training and apprenticeship offer. Business leaders could also benefit from the exceptional talent of Calderdale College’s students, through mutually-rewarding work experience schemes.

To find out more about what Rise can do to help you develop your team, plug those all-important skills gaps, and even access funding to help you do it, head on over to: https://bit.ly/3dlhZw4.