First face to face workshop in two years a great success

The Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce’s first ‘in real life’ workshop in 24-months was held at Borders College recently and considered a success by all who attended.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:03 pm
From left: Lee-Anne Gillie, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce; Michael Dalrymple SD Consultancy; John Berry Timeless Time; Alasdair Scott, Scottish Borders Council; Katharine Jackson, Capital City Partnership; Scott Wight, Works+; Katharine Mathison, Borders College, and Emily McGowan, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce.

The Working with Employers Workshop aimed to bring together local business people with employability support representatives, in an informal setting, where the challenges and opportunities around employment could be openly discussed.

Developing a staffing establishment that facilitates business growth is critical if Borders businesses are to successfully scale-up, bringing prosperity to employer and employee alike.

Chamber chief executive, Emily McGowan, said: “Our role in supporting the local business community goes beyond the usual networking events.

"The chamber’s 2021-2024 strategy sets out our commitment to the business community across variety of business-critical themes, skills and development of people being one of them.

"The workshop is part of our plan to deliver on our strategy and there were several positive conversations and connections made at the event. There is progress already being made in several areas, which is great to see.”

Recruitment and retention of staff have historically been a challenge for Borders-based businesses, with the situation compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent, and on-going, changes around work culture, with many agreeing an alternative approach is now needed.

Commenting on the situation faced by businesses, Duns-based Fleming Homes managing director, Sarah Mathieson said: “The existing and obvious routes for accessing talent aren’t delivering the results businesses desperately need.

"This chambers event brought together a wide range of partners who can help businesses identify and target individuals by thinking a little differently, as well as providing support with retention strategies. For me, it was an invaluable session.”

Chamber chair, Lee-Anne Gillie, said: “We were delighted that the employment support organisations were so keen to support our workshop. There is real value in the people who offer support hearing first-hand what the challenges are when developing staffing to facilitate business growth and we are delighted to be able to facilitate these conversations.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​