August 7, 2022

NO SURPRISING that lots of our members categorical concern about the price of doing enterprise and are searching for sensible steps and options to alleviate their issues.

Simply final week we have been informed that enterprise confidence in Scotland fell 11 factors in July to 16%, in keeping with the newest Enterprise Barometer from the Financial institution of Scotland Business Banking. Firms in Scotland report a decline in confidence of their outlook month-on-month, with simply 5% of companies on the web anticipating to extend headcount subsequent yr, down 11 factors from final month.

As well as, in response to rising worth pressures, a document 77% of corporations mentioned they count on costs to rise over the following three months as they face rising working prices, in keeping with the newest quarterly survey from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce. That is prone to exacerbate inflationary issues and additional improve the price of dwelling.

One of many largest challenges companies face is recruiting and retaining expertise, and 4 out of 5 corporations reported problem recruiting the individuals they should succeed and develop. Along with a long-term plan to handle the abilities hole, the federal government can do extra to assist corporations fill their gaps within the quick time period, together with an pressing evaluate of the abilities hole listing for expert visas.

In early 2021, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce launched the Step Up Glasgow program solely for youth and companies. The initiative, in partnership with Glasgow Metropolis Council’s Younger Individuals’s Assure, helps younger individuals and companies by providing incentives to employers to create alternatives for younger individuals aged 16 to 24 with 100% payroll funding.

This program was created to assist younger individuals who dropped out of faculty and not using a constructive end result and are economically inactive; those that didn’t examine, practice or work and didn’t have entry to the UK authorities’s Kickstart initiative. It was focused primarily at highschool graduates and made a transparent contribution to growing the variety of younger individuals in constructive instructions, supporting town’s document achievement of 96.2%, the most effective end result ever and better than the nationwide common for the primary time.

The Glasgow Chamber appealed to companies to become involved and was inundated with third sector corporations and organisations. The Glasgow Step Up Program works carefully with referral brokers across the metropolis who’re straight concerned in supporting younger individuals in employment and has been designed to make sure that younger individuals have the most effective alternatives to achieve employment. Every younger particular person was assisted in making use of and making ready for the interview.

This system has been an excellent success and has been a lifeline for a lot of younger individuals, but it surely has additionally helped taking part companies safe totally funded roles, creating channels for future employment. Final yr, the Step-Up program helped greater than 90 younger individuals discover paid work and was an excellent expertise for each the employer and the younger particular person.

The Glasgow Science Centre, for instance, supported a younger man’s first work expertise and helped advance his improvement to the extent that it led him to a everlasting place with the corporate. One other younger lady who had by no means labored with earlier than discovered a full-time job on the Scottish Occasions Campus.

Stepping Ahead is only one instance of how the Chamber of Commerce and its companions can develop progressive options that not solely assist construct the potential of younger individuals, however handle a few of the key points that have an effect on our important companies throughout these difficult occasions.

As a difficult winter approaches for a lot of of our companies, we have to innovate greater than ever and work with governments to create actual, sensible companions and options that profit the economic system and society as a complete.

Richard Muir is Deputy Normal Supervisor of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

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