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Montage of Mayor Dan Norris at regional businesses
Jobs & Skills Summit helps pave the way for region’s recovery

Last week, we held the region’s first Jobs & Skills Summit focussing on local residents whose jobs have been hit by Covid-19, and working with support providers to help the region recover.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris visited apprentices at Gemsec Security Systems in Hengrove, students at the Institute of Coding at the University of Bath, trainees at Weston College, as well as hearing from students working on future electric vehicles at the S&B Automotive Academy in Bedminster. He also met young people developing the skills to tackle the region’s ecological emergency at Windmill Hill City Farm.

At local projects, he talked with people who are returning to work or getting work-ready. He also met people supported by our Future Bright and Workforce for the Future programmes.

Feedback from the Jobs & Skills Summit will help us to develop future support and training for residents.
Businesses pedalling and walking for a greener West of England
Aardman Animations, Bath’s Royal United Hospital and Lost Horizon Coffee are helping to get more people walking and pedalling to work by sharing their experiences in a new guide launched by the West of England Combined Authority.
The “Joy in the Journey” guide is jam packed with helpful advice for businesses to support their employees to walk or cycle.
Top tips in the guide include accessing grants for installing bike racks or showers, getting advice on planning journeys, and how to set up a cycle to work scheme.
Download the guide here
Read more on this story...
West of England Authority supports Creative industries
More support for creative businesses and freelancers
We’re offering more help for creative businesses and freelancers with the launch of a new support programme to help them recover from the impact of Covid-19.
Our Creative Sector Growth Programme aims to support recovery by working with creative businesses and freelancers to help them improve their business’s resilience.

Applications to join the programme are open until Monday 26 July. It will help up to 120 creative businesses and freelancers to review their business plans and explore new business opportunities.

Find out more through this link
Young Woman in a cafe
Business and technical support for food & drink sector
 Entrepreneurs who are setting up and running food and drink businesses across the region are set to benefit from extra support.
We’ve teamed up with the Food WorksSW to launch the Food Enterprise Support Scheme to offer free business and technical support to local businesses.

Pre and start-up individuals and businesses can receive 4 hours of support; whilst established businesses can receive 5 hours of support.
Read more on the programme here…
Zoom screen of students on work experience
Fantastic feedback on our virtual work experience event
Earlier this month, 16 students joined us for a virtual work experience event. The online sessions provided valuable information for our Housing & Planning team to feed into work on our Spatial Development Strategy and we now have a successful engagement virtual work experience model that can be repeated and rolled out in the future.

Feedback from the students included:
  • “I have learned more about all the different roles that go into an organisation”
  • “They really want to make everything good for the public by listening to their ideas”
Bristol gaming company helps design new courses to build talent
New courses in gaming software, digital marketing, data science, AI and User Experience will soon be on offer to help train more people to work in the region’s growing digital and creative businesses. The courses are part of a £2m investment by the West of England Combined Authority.

The courses, created by Next Generation, Bath Spa University, and the University of the West of England will be delivered with help from Bristol-based games developer Opposable Games, with recruitment starting next month.
Read more on this story...
Thrive at Work - Providing mental health and wellbeing support

West of England mental health survey results published
Two thirds of staff at local businesses say they feel comfortable talking about mental health at work, but 35% of respondents say that after these conversations they have not seen their managers take action.  

The findings come from a new survey commissioned by the West of England Combined Authority. Mental ill health remains the most common cause of long-term absence from work while stress, depression or anxiety are responsible for 54% of lost working days every year.

We’re urging more local businesses to get involved with our
Thrive at Work West of England’ programme which provides managers with training to help them embed good mental health practice in their business. 
Read more on this story...

Upcoming event
  • Tuesday 20 July, 10am: Join our colleagues in Invest Bristol & Bath, for a panel discussion on UK/India trade relationship. - find out more here

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) covers
Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
WECA also supports the Local Enterprise Partnership and
Joint Committee, which includes North Somerset.

Our mailing address is:
West of England Combined Authority, 3 Rivergate, Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6ER

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