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NAA Update: Last chance to submit your NAA 2015 Award applications; forthcoming events; and the Skills Action Plan

This is our last newsletter until September, when we’ll be straight into the season of shows, conferences and the NAA Awards Dinner. Speak to us quickly if you want to exhibit at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event, and if not, book in your diary to visit the event on 9-10 September at Millbrook Proving Ground – see our separate article below to find out why. You also need to book your table for the Annual Dinner and get your award application submitted by 14 August…

With only four weeks to go before the closing date for the NAA 2015 Awards applications, I hope that you’re sharpening your pencils, gathering evidence and looking to inspire the judges with your entries! I know that it’s the holiday period, but what better opportunity to give yourselves some focus to getting your entry in, so that come November you can celebrate becoming a finalist, sharing your good news with all the attendees in the brochure, and potentially winning an award. Why not download the forms from x and get writing now?

Many of those who attended the Award Workshop in 2014 reaped the benefits by winning an Award; this year again we had a handful of companies who attended the improved, invaluable workshop sponsored and run by Morsons. If you didn’t attend, make sure you book it in your diary for 2016 in the first week in July. If you want to find out more about this year’s event search for #MorsonNAA on Twitter.

I realised yesterday that my efforts on events are now focused on the autumn and the first half of 2016 and how it feels as if I am wishing my life away, but the only way that the NAA achieves the delivery of an interesting programme of events for you is by detailed planning that starts a long time in advance. For instance we start work on the following year’s Annual Dinner immediately after the current year; it isn’t only to capture the good points and what could be improved next year, but also to ensure that we’re able to deliver a quality event with only a few staff.

Apart from events, another big issue at the moment is skills. I recently attended an Employer Focus Group meeting as part of the Lancashire Skills Action Plan that’s being developed. Even though only a handful of companies attended we had a lively discussion which left those writing the action plan with plenty of food for thought. Items that got discussed were the challenges of the ageing population and how companies must invest in preparing for this ticking time bomb to remain competitive within the global marketplace; notably as other countries don’t have the same issue of having turned off their manufacturing employee pipeline for more than a generation from education and skills decisions.

The continual significant change in the skills and education policies is not reflected in other countries and it not only confuses companies, but also parents, pupils, and teachers! Also these issues will not be a quick fix; but we did come up with some quick fixes, as well as some longer-term actions.

Please come and talk to any of the NAA staff about these items at our events as we still have a chance to influence future direction. I will also share information that comes out of the LEP activities on this in future newsletters.

I hope you find time to relax with your families between now and our next newsletter which is due out at the start of September.

Carol

Investing in England's North West - European Regional Development Fund
Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham