The impact of COVID-19 on Bracknell Forest businesses, how to boost the local economy and aspirations for the borough were all on the agenda earlier this month as part of a virtual business event.
The council and the Bracknell Forest Economic and Skills Development Partnership (ESDP) held the event with local businesses on Tuesday 20 October.
Speakers covered a wide range of current and future business challenges, including:
- the impact of COVID-19 on the town centre and other businesses
- how Bracknell Forest can continue to be one of the strongest business economies in the region
- how to establish growth in the borough
- current strategic plans and aspirations for the borough
- recognising Bracknell’s business strengths and opportunities
Market research specialists, Public Perspectives, also presented the results of a survey looking at skills in the local job market.
The results showed there were a lot of similarities to the answers that were given the last time this survey was carried out in 2015. This is consistent with the stable job market that Bracknell Forest offers.
There were some positive indications of businesses investing further in upskilling employees. For example, 42% of businesses incentivise their employees to study outside working hours (a better position than the 28% in 2015).
In good news for our younger residents, more businesses in Bracknell Forest appear to be employing young people just out of education Around 71% of businesses that had recruited staff mentioned they hire young people out of education (compared with 46% in 2015).
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration said:
“Thanks go to Bob Collis of the ESDP for co-hosting this informative event. It was great to see so many businesses tune in. We are keen to work with local businesses and hear what challenges they’re facing in this unprecedented time. By listening to and developing our business community further, we can make sure that Bracknell retains its place as one of the strongest economies in the Thames Valley area.
“The survey results are very positive and show a stable job market with growing opportunities for young people. Whilst there is undoubtedly hard work ahead, I am confident in the future for Bracknell.”
The full survey results can be found on our Bracknell Forest for business pages.