How can we make the Midlands work for businesses?

Business Insights

Chair Carmen Watson of Pertemps Recruitment, joined a distinguished panel at the Midlands Economic Summit that included Stephen Phipson CBE, CEO of Make UK, Charlotte Keenan, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Mike Owens, Managing Director of Schumacher Packaging and Maxine Laceby, founder of Absolute Collagen.

She said,

“85% of the individuals we need to recruit will be for jobs that haven’t been invented yet. This underscores the urgency for businesses like ours to adapt and prepare for a rapidly evolving job market.

“Small to large businesses are facing persistent skills problems alongside swift advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the workforce landscape is shifting with a younger and smaller workforce who have different expectations and approaches to work.

“The key to addressing these challenges lies in connecting small businesses with larger businesses, fostering an environment of mutual support and shared resources.

“That’s why I believe it’s crucial to establish a Midlands forum. A central hub of advice and collaboration, which can serve as a platform for businesses to come together, share insights and devise strategies to address the region’s unique economic challenges. This is not the time for short-term thinking.

“The power of peer-to-peer networks cannot be overstated. Through these networks, businesses can learn from each other’s experiences, share best practices and develop innovative solutions to common problems.

“An effective industrial strategy must be underpinned by a focus on skills development and strategic planning. Connecting good job opportunities with talented individuals and fostering innovation will pave the way for a robust economic future for the Midlands.

“Our new mayor, Richard Parker, has a pivotal role in spearheading an effective industrial strategy. When businesses come together and work collaboratively, we can build an environment that encourages innovation and boosts economic growth.

“The future holds significant changes, particularly with the ongoing reforms in AI. Embracing these changes and leveraging AI advancements will be crucial for businesses aiming to stay competitive and innovative.

“The summit brought to the forefront the critical challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for businesses in the region. With more than nine million people in the UK out of work, it’s clear that we need to act urgently to tackle employment issues. 

“The Midlands is at a crossroads, with immense potential for economic growth and innovation. Fostering collaboration, embracing new technologies and focusing on skill development will create a thriving business environment that benefits everyone. Now is the time to think long-term, work together and make the Midlands work for businesses of all sizes.

“In this dynamic landscape, staying informed is key. We at Pertemps are committed to engaging with our clients, understanding their needs and identifying the right talent so businesses can make informed decisions that drive success.”