Are we there yet? Wes Johnson

February 04, 2020 - 12:00pm

Are we there yet? Wes Johnson

Are we there yet?

It’s quite a strange feeling to realise that between me penning this Chamber Chat piece and you reading it, we will have left the European Union through the somewhat protracted Brexit process.  So welcome to a new chapter!

Whatever your own thoughts on Brexit, I firmly believe that as a business community we must now seek new opportunities whilst, of course, carefully mitigating any emerging risks.  As a district we have many reasons to be optimistic in my opinion - significant inward investment is proposed and the importance of northern towns and cities, particularly coastal communities, is a political high priority.

Post Brexit, our local ports at Heysham and Glasson Docks will be key strategic enablers, well supported by our extensive logistics industry.  Recognising we already have skills shortages in these areas, alongside real growth opportunities, I was really pleased that a number of key employers and sector stakeholders were able recently to meet at the College. 

This meeting has laid the foundations for a new ‘Ports & Logistics Academy’ at the College to be shaped by the industry, to serve the industry and to be delivered in partnership.  Any other employers keen to be involved can contact me directly through the Chamber or the College.

The College is committed to supporting sectoral prosperity in large and small businesses across the district. We have two very clear purposes - firstly, to support workforce development by training technically skilled, highly employable college graduates and apprentices and secondly - to ensure opportunities for all members of our community, supporting social mobility and community cohesion, all in full partnership with our employers.

Finally, calling all accountants!  We are keen to add accountancy expertise to our Corporation Board at the College to strategically guide what is a multi-million-pound organisation into the future, so please do get in touch!