Venn Group attends West London Business Forum

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 by Venn GroupNo comments


This morning, Venn Group consultants Tim Goggin and George Wade attended the West London Business Forum hosted by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Held at Brent Civic Centre, this included varied talks from professionals across local government, communications research and the LCCI themselves. Tim and George derived the following key insights from the event:


1.       More housing is needed in London

Dianna Neal, Strategic Lead at London Councils, spoke about the difficulties currently facing London boroughs. There has been a 63% reduction in funding since 2010, yet an extra one million London residents expected between 2010-2020. To match this, London needs an additional 72,000 homes, but the funding is simply not there to facilitate this.


2.       London is lacking certain skill sets

James Rentoul, Associate Director of communications research firm ComRes, noted that in a survey completed for 1020 businesses across London, it was evidenced that there was a deficiency in the number of manual technical workers and skilled managers. While the market is good, with 54% of businesses recruiting in the last year, 38% of hiring managers had difficulties due to the lack of applicants.


3.       There are issues with the apprenticeship levy

Councillor Clare Coghill, Executive Lead for London Councils, stated that while the apprenticeship levy has the potential to cover skills shortages, not enough training has been given to the organisations who want to access it. Due to a lack of understanding, the levy has been overcomplicated in some instances and overall there is not enough promotion of its advantages. Teaching businesses how to maximise the levy would go some way to solving this problem. However, there were some positive notes on the topic. According to James Rentoul while only 11% of firms who were applicable to use the levy did so in their 2018 survey, in 2019 this has increased to 68%.


4.       The impact of Brexit

While there are still questions to be answered regarding our exit from the EU, Councillor Muhammed Butt of Brent Council noted this was likely have significant implications for the construction and catering sectors in West London. In Brent alone, there are 55,000 European nationals, many of whom are crucial to the infrastructure of these industries. For construction in particular, Peter Bishop, Deputy Chief Executive of the LCCI noted that there is a focus on hiring locally. Therefore, if many of Brent’s European residents were to move out of the area these companies could face staffing shortages.


If you are affected by staff shortages or are lacking a certain skill set in your team, Venn Group are currently working with specialists across a variety of sectors who can meet your requirements. For more information on how to contact our offices, please click here.

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