Three Speakers at November networking – Chair’s Report

Chair Abbott

Chamber members were treated to three speakers at the Zoom networking event on Nov 18. Local Spotlight magazine editor (and new Chamber member) Sharon Jenkins’ backstage look into the publishing industry was followed by a two-handed presentation from Felixstowe job Centre Plus work coach Anne Willett and Dept of Work & Pensions (DWP) partnership manager David Walford about a project to help local employers and young job-seekers.

After a brief synopsis of her rise to the editorship of Spotlight magazine, published by Mansion House Group, Sharon said the Lockdown had acted as a wake-up call for the group, which also publishes 18 other local magazines.

“The COVID-19 challenge forced us to step up our efforts to ensure we make effective use of all the digital platforms, as well as print to get our product out to our readers,” she said.

Both Sharon and the publisher were particularly keen to focus on Felixstowe and become part of the community and more involved in the commercial sector – not just to increase sales, but to help local businesses prosper and support community organisations.

She appealed to members to contact her if they had suggestions or ideas for stories, features, or special projects where Spotlight could help.

Anne and David then updated members on proposals for setting up a business advice/training Hub in the former AgeUK shop in Orwell Road.

“We envisage a sort of business club for our young clients who need help to find and prepare to work, as well as for employers, trainers and business advisers. We hope to do this in conjunction with a range of partners we have contacted, including among others the Chamber, Inspire Suffolk, MENTA,  DWP, local authorities and EMMAUS,” said Anne.

“it will provide a centre where we and our partners can offer advice and training for young people looking for work, especially those who need extra support in these difficult times.”

David said he hoped the support centre could also provide advice on the Government’s Kickstart scheme and act as a point for employers who wanted to sign up for the scheme, which  aims to help youngsters between 16 and 24 find work placements where they can develop new skills and obtain work experience.  He said  he was currently talking to East Suffolk Council to see how they could help to set the project up and he was hoping to be able to provide more details in the near future.  David went on to give further details on Kickstart Scheme. If you would like to know more about Kickstart you can find out more here YouTube video

 

 

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