New opportunities drive demand for skilled leadership

A rise in opportunities for smaller businesses to get involved in large projects in recent years has driven demand for skilled leadership.

HS2 and the Heathrow Airport third runway expansion are two typical cases of projects where smaller firms from across the East Midlands are encouraged to be part of the greater supply chain.

But some don’t have the leadership to recognise the opportunities or the skills needed to submit appropriate bids.

With such opportunities in mind, and working in partnership with academia, award-winning East Midlands Chamber* is asking local firms about the extent to which they have developed leadership skills in the past two years and plan to develop them in the coming two years.

Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Director of Policy, said: “The Chamber has been working closely with both HS2 and Heathrow Airport to encourage smaller local firms to be part of the supply chain for both projects.

“Public sector procurement has also become more open, offering even more opportunities to smaller regional companies.

“But one of issues this growth of opportunity has flagged up is that some firms don’t have the expertise and skills in their leadership teams to take advantage the openings, which could be preventing them from maximising the prospects available to them.”

Through its second Quarterly Economic Survey of 2019, the Chamber is asking firms if they have a formal approach to training leaders and what changes they might make to future training plans.

It is also asking what percentage of training costs has been focused on leadership training over the past two years and might be spent over the next two years, what impact training has had on the organisation’s success and how well firms feel they are now prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“The Chamber offers a wide range of support around business leader development and wants to encourage firms to make sure they are taking advantage of the help we can offer so that they can be part of the huge opportunities ahead,” said Chris.

Firms can take part in the QES by following this link https://bit.ly/2MeFFbN. Data collated in the QES helps to shape Chamber policy and is fed into the bigger British Chambers of Commerce survey, where it is used to steer central Government thinking. The survey closes on 7 June.

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