New Fenland Chamber of Commerce chairman calls for business to sign up to skills summit

THE incoming chairman of Fenland Chamber of Commerce has called for businesses to sign up to a summit which will help shape the district’s skills agenda for years to come.

Jaqui Fairfax, managing director of Commercial Utility Brokers (UK) Ltd based in March, was appointed chairman last month and is leading efforts to tackle some of the issues facing businesses.

Next month’s Fenland Skills Summit which takes place at the Boathouse in Wisbech and is supported by this newspaper and numerous agencies. It is organised by Cambridgeshire County Council’s work related learning services team, Fenland District Council’s economic development team, Fenland 14-19 Partnership and Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

Mrs Fairfax said: “Times are changing and unfortunately more and more companies are struggling to recruit staff with the right skills for their business.

“Some qualifications and training programmes simply don’t have the right focus to equip people with the skills needed to drive our companies forward, both now and in the future.

“None of us are blessed with a crystal ball, but this event will bring local business people together to pre-empt the skills that all of our businesses will need in the future.

“We anticipate that providers will then be able to equip themselves to meet those needs, helping business, young people and the local economy.”

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Students will be involved in part of the March 31 summit. They will be encouraged to discuss the benefits of work experience placements, highlighing the steps that businesses and students can take to make it more beneficial for both parties.

• The Fenland Skills Summit takes place at The Boathouse on March 31 from 10am-4pm. Attendance is free but places must be booked by calling Helen Bosett on 01223 209815 or e-mail