Chamber backs ‘festival of enterprise’

HAMPSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has joined forces with a range of partners to champion a week-long celebration of business, which will take place over a working week later this month.

The second annual Portsmouth & South Coast Business Week will take place through a blend of virtual and in-person events in the city from April 25 to 29; following its successful holding in 2021.

It comes as all sectors look to consolidate and continue their recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and navigate ongoing challenges such as rising energy costs and supply chain pressures.

Over the five days, #pscbw is scheduled to deliver an interactive programme of free events including presentations, networking opportunities and the chance to view investment projects seeking to address workforce skills gaps.

One of these is a ‘hard-hat’ tour of construction work under way at Havant & South Downs College (HSDC) to create a dedicated facility for teaching digital technology skills; which in turn could reduce unemployment in this sector

At Fareham College, there are guided tours of both CEMAST, the Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training, and CETC, the Civil Engineering Training Centre.

And registrations are open for a session focused on transformation in manufacturing hosted by Hampshire Chamber as part of its growing community of practice, Chamber of Solutions.

Taking place at Portico Shipping and delivered by Chamber training partner Mission Performance with a panel of experts on hand, the session aims to show how the right choice of management methods and supplier arrangements can help transform the business outlook for manufacturers.

Ross McNally, Hampshire Chamber Chief Executive and Executive Chairman, believes there is ‘something for everyone’ in the week and is urging business leaders to find out more about what it means for them.

Ross said in a press release shared online on Tuesday (April 12): “This is a week-long festival of enterprise with free, inspiring events designed to showcase the latest in business ideas and creative solutions.”

“Complementing the presentations and tours are purposeful networking opportunities that will enable potentially vital connections to be made between like-minded participants.”

A ‘skills showcase’ presented at the new Fareham College business centre, and streamed live to HSDC and City of Portsmouth College, will highlight the spring launch of the skillslab project.

Rolling out across seven colleges from around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, skillslab aims to bring businesses and education providers together to address many skills gaps and improve economic activity for companies including SMEs and micros.

As well as addressing skills requirements, major themes of the week include opportunities for partnership in space-based manufacturing and research, the potential benefits of Solent Freeport to the business community and how start-up, micro and small businesses can best access essential advice and funding from support providers.

The week culminates in The News Business Awards at Portsmouth Guildhall. Among other partners involved in the week are Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth, the Federation of Small Businesses and the city transformation group Shaping Portsmouth.