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Building back better, greener and stronger
Ambitious plans to build back the West of England have been revealed by the West of England Recovery Taskforce, chaired by Regional Mayor Tim Bowles.

The West of England recovery plan outlines how our region’s creativity and diversity will be harnessed to protect and secure jobs, while building back greener and creating opportunities for all of our residents to share in the recovery.


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£8m to create post-covid workforce of the future
We’ve launched a major new skills programme to help businesses understand, plan and respond to their workforce needs, particularly as they face new pressures in light of Covid-19.

Workforce for the Future is a free service that will help small and medium-sized enterprises identify and address their skills needs, by upskilling and retraining employees, in areas such as digital, or support them to source and bring in new staff, including apprentices or work placements.

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E-scooter operator announced for West of England trial scheme
Residents and visitors will soon be able to get around the region on e-scooters in a trial scheme as part of our Future Transport Zone programme.

Voi Technology Ltd will be making hop-on hop-off e-scooters available in Bristol and Bath to help residents and visitors to get around central areas. E-scooters will be available at other key locations in South Gloucestershire such as stations, university campuses, hospitals and large employment sites.

Residents will also be able to take e-scooters home and use them for journeys on a longer-term basis, giving confidence that they can get to and from their destinations during times when bus and train capacity is limited.


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Mayor welcomes PM’s skills and training announcement
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles has welcomed the Government’s plans for a major expansion of adult education and training to level up the economy and prepare workers for the post-Covid economy.

We are coordinating the government’s support for young people announced by the Chancellor in the ‘Plan for Jobs’, ensuring that the region’s businesses are able to use the Kickstart scheme to provide work for as many of our 16-24 year-olds as possible.


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Supporting mental health
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, we want to make you aware of regional support.

Our new Thrive at Work West of England programme offers employers help to respond to mental health concerns in the workplace.  

The package of support, including training and resources, is available through the 
West of England Growth Hub website. It includes mental health e-learning to equip managers with the confidence and skills to have supportive conversations with their staff about mental health and wellbeing, particularly in these challenging and changing times. It builds on the Thrive Bristol programme and was developed in partnership with businesses and key stakeholders.

The training is funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and is targeted towards small and medium-sized businesses and ethnic minority-led companies to help support those who may have been impacted the most by Covid-19.

Click here to find out more. Please also take our survey to help us understand what mental health in the workplace looks like across our region.
Business support hits the right note
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on live events which are at the heart of CGI Music’s business. Business owner, Charlie Gardner got in touch with our Growth Hub to access support for his business. Through our new Trading Better Online programme, CGI Music developed their online presence, working with another local business.
 
Charlie said: “I’m massively grateful for all the help and support that the Growth Hub has provided at this difficult time. It can be a bit of a lonely world running your own business so having a support system like that is really invaluable. I would highly recommend any other local businesses who need that support to reach out.”

Hear Charlie's experiences on the support he received in this YouTube video

Economic briefing
We’re tracking the impact of the pandemic on our region’s economy, building up the picture over time, drawing on what businesses are telling us, and the economic indicators available.

We’re putting together regular briefings intended to deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by businesses across the region’s industries, and where there might be gaps in support coming from government.

You can find the latest briefing here.

Mayor's blog

In his first video blog, Mayor Tim Bowles talks about our ambitious recovery plan for the West of England.
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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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