As a region we have met with our MPs yearly, but since refresh we have changed the meetings. These are now open meetings for all members in the MP’s constituency so that a range of different business views can be included in the meeting.
The first of these new style meetings was with Luke Pollard who is the new Labour MP in Plymouth. Sadly although we had 15 members book to attend only one member came. She was a lovely lady called Lyn who I have met at some of the connect events and who runs a hotel in Plymouth. Lyn was superb and her input really added value to the meeting so it was great that she could come along.
We talked through the National Policy asks so; Upskilling the Workforce, Focussing on B2B supply chains, Local Growth, Rising Business Costs and Ten Years plans.
Lyn was able to add a local Plymouth angle to many of the asks, especially when we talked about upskilling the workforce. In Plymouth they now have a 97% workforce in employment and the remaining 3% are long term unemployed (and possibly not easily employable), so the key to getting staff in Plymouth is a better offer than other employers.
Lyn told us that offering a day a college or other ways to upskill and that had helped keep staff. She also said it wasn’t always paying more that was the solution. We discussed being flexible with staff and Lyn said even with it being a hotel it can help to take a flexible attitude.