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  •     This week – National Apprenticeship Week – highlights many inspiring stories about how apprenticeships change the lives of young people, as well as boosting business productivity. Whilst our sector contributes one in five of all jobs in the region, the statistics tell us that our sector is still underrepresented in its take up of apprenticeships, both as a method of recruiting and upskilling.   Along with City-REDI at the University of Birmingham, as the sector lead body for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) we recently led a ‘deep dive’ investigation into productivity in the BPFS sector [1]. The report formed part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Productivity and Skills Commission. A key finding was that skills and ideas are the clear priorities for increasing productivity in the BPFS sector. They are not only issues for the future, but challenges being faced by […]

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  • BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards will have a brand-new committee behind it in 2019. The team organising the 2019 Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) Awards has been unveiled. The 2019 event organised by BPS Birmingham Future, a membership organisation which connects, promotes and represents professional services in the city, will take place in May at the ICC. Meet the 2019 Committee Following her role as deputy chair in 2018, the 2019 committee will be chaired by Kirn Dibra, a Risk and Control Manager at Experian. Kirn has brought together a brand-new team from a range of sectors for 2019, to support the delivery of one of the city’s most prestigious business events. 2019’s line-up consists of: Chandni Kotak, Construction Solicitor at Pinsent Masons LLP Azeem Qadir, Assistant Audit Manager at BDO UK LLP Matt Cockett, Graphics Manager at PSP Ltd Greta Geoghegan, Director of PR and Communications at […]

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  • Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Executive Officer appointed as BPS Birmingham Future Chair. Katie Fulcher, Executive Officer at Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, is to be the next BPS Birmingham Future Chair. Katie will take over the reigns from solicitor Victoria Ball at an event being held at Birmingham Council House on Thursday 6th September. Katie will lead the membership organisation representing young professionals in the region for the next year. At the event guests will hear reflections from out going Chair Victoria, who this week started a new job as Legal Director at DLA Piper in their Construction and Engineering practice, and from Katie who will set out her ambitions and objectives for the year ahead. Reflecting on her year as Chair, Victoria will say how an organisation with such a diverse set of activities as Birmingham Future could not operate without the tireless contribution of its’ […]

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  • More than 80 professionals attended a dinner to celebrate graduates from BPS Birmingham Future’s second Leadership Development Programme. Held in partnership with Aston Business School, the programme saw 28 participants develop core leadership skills during a series of monthly evening workshops on a range of topics. The participants were presented with their certificates by Mark Smith, Executive Director of Business Engagement, at Aston University, at the event on Thursday 26 July at Conference Aston. Commenting on the evening, Mark Smith said: “It’s been great to celebrate the success of this initiative between Aston University and BPS Future, which is a very important relationship. “Aston University’s ethos has always been to work with business. Long may this continue and flourish with BPS Birmingham. “The graduates here tonight all have high-pressured jobs, and I’m sure there were some days when they could have stayed working, or could have gone home to relax […]

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  • Around nine-months ago, I wrote a couple of blogs about the plethora of Commissions established in the region, set to examine a wide range of complex challenges facing the West Midlands. The Productivity and Skills Commission and the Leadership Commission caught my eye, not only because of my experience in these areas, but both set up workstreams looking at the professional services sector. First to the reporting line is the Leadership Commission. Let me be clear at the outset. The document is a wonderfully clear assessment of the size of the challenge and in that there is much value. Where a combination of stark reality and perceptions prevailed about the lack of representation in leadership positions, there is now more evidence, even though the Commission was clearly frustrated by data gaps during its work. Nonetheless, it is a significant step forward. I am also extremely proud that an initiative I have led […]

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