Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 02nd, Feb

The past week has been another politically shambolic period which has, once again, accentuated the uncertainties around Brexit. Now just 13 months away, we appear once more to have little understanding or appreciation about how the practicalities for business will be delivered.

The latest results from the British Chambers of Commerce economic survey demonstrated increased sluggishness within the economy and that two-thirds of companies are not preparing for Brexit as what is largely unknown, cannot be fully prepared for. The growth projections for 2018-19 are not particularly encouraging and there are considerable concerns that the collapse of Carillion and the profit warning at Capita, are indications of problematic trading conditions.

Failure to provide greater certainty about the specifics of Brexit is undoubtedly impeding the ability for most businesses to prepare for what is to come. The British Chambers are advocating the commencement of some basic planning – a ‘Brexit audit’, giving insight into how much of the workforce is from the EU; looking at contracts with EU companies and how they would pan out in a post-Brexit economy; analysing your supply chain and whether that will change once the UK leaves the EU and looking at the possible effects on VAT.

There is a certain inevitability that an end game will be reached soon and guidance provided based upon a clear position of post-Brexit conditions. The message remains to keep calm, carry on trading and identify some basic preparatory work for March 2019. We continue to champion the need for at least two years transitional period with minimal adjustment costs for business and expect that clarity is provided imminently. If it’s not, then the unknown unknowns of Brexit will be far more damaging than the actual divorce.

Keep updated with the Chamber’s programme of Brexit preparation workshops and meetings this year and look out for ‘Business Voice’, our new e-newsletter launching this month with advice, guidance, consultations and other content for members to stay informed. 

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Posted by PRS Telecom

Fri 02nd, Feb

We spend an increasing amount of time communicating and collaborating in all walks of life, but especially within the business sphere. Using this time efficiently is, therefore, a major concern, as inefficient communication is a major barrier to business success.

PRS Telecom is the premier UK provider for Circuit by Unify, a cross-platform unified communications application that aims to eliminate this barrier, by bringing together a number of communications channels, including chat, email, telephony, and file sharing.

By unifying these channels, Circuit is able to offer reduced costs, improved data security, improved efficiency, increased flexibility, and empowered client and partner communications.

1 Reduced overhead

Most businesses have adopted a number of single-purpose apps to facilitate communication, each with a monthly fee per user. Each of these fees is quite small, but four or five apps over even fifty employees is a substantial amount of money per month, which can have a huge impact on a smaller or growing business.

Regardless of the business size, however, reducing costs is always desirable. Bringing together a number of communication streams, Circuit offers substantial savings per employee, charging a single fee for the entire communication suite, instead of a separate fee per service.

2 Improved security

Industry leaders like PRS Telecom are keenly aware that security issues cost UK businesses billions each year, and increasing regulations, including the GDPR, promise fines for improper handling of sensitive data, as well as companies being held responsible for their data, regardless of who is storing it.

Circuit uses AES encryption on all communication, meaning that even if there is a breach, data remains inaccessible to third parties.

Secondly, Circuit eliminates the need for data to be kept or shared on disparate platforms with varying security standards, ensuring that all of your data is maintained at the same high standard.

3 Eliminate wasted time

When employees are required to use a number of different apps, they lose a lot of time to waste and distraction. They are required to flip through multiple apps trying to find the correct piece of information or a particular conversation, and can easily become sidetracked.

Circuit by Unify offers all communications channels on a single stream, with seamless integration between them, giving employees access to all information at their fingertips, while making every conversation and every file searchable in a single app.

4 Empowered employees

Employees are increasingly opting, or occasionally required, to work remotely, but in many cases, they are separated from key resources and communication streams when offsite.

With Circuit by Unify, employees have access to the same resources and communication streams, regardless of their location, even having seamless access to a SIP phone number through Circuit’s Universal Telephony Connector.

5 Connected clients

Connections and communication, with clients as well as partners, is increasingly important, so Circuit has built in features to facilitate better communication.

Most simply, this comes from integration with most CRM facilities, giving employees access to important client data during a video conference without breaking stride.

Further, clients, contractors and partners can be provided with guest accounts, given limited or full access to your team’s Circuit, allowing a higher level of cooperation than before, without any complex requirements.

Find out more about Circuit.

For more information contact Alex Phillips at alex@prstelecom.co.uk or on 07948 237 655

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Posted by PRS Telecom

Thu 01st, Feb

With digital communication being absolutely key to the modern business world, there is a big market for business-focused unified communications platforms, like Circuit by Unify.

With a huge market demand, there is great incentive for PRS Telecom to supply proven platforms like Circuit with the focus firmly on real world business benefits.

With Circuit, PRS Telecom focuses on a feature set that responds to the modern digital business environment, and targets areas of real concern for businesses of all sizes, including data security, employee retention, and reducing waste.

Security as standard

PRS Telecom know that data breaches cost UK businesses tens of billions of pounds each year, not to mention the huge loss of client and consumer confidence caused by mishandled, or even well handled, data breaches.

On top of the costs of the breach itself, the upcoming GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, increases the responsibility of businesses for private data, and promises substantial fines for those who fail to properly secure sensitive data.

With these realities, security features, as well as simply knowing where your data is, should be top concerns for any business with data in the digital realm.

Circuit offers enhanced data security in two major ways.

Firstly, Circuit uses industry-standard AES encryption to secure all communications over the platform, meaning that even if there is some sort of data breach, there is a very low probability of any data being accessible.

Secondly, Circuit unifies all communication streams, meaning that the security offered is applied across the board, and secured in Tier 5 data Centre’s - there is no more worry about sensitive data being compromised in half a dozen different places that may or may not have the same security standards.

Empowered flexible working

Employee turnover is a major source of costs and lost efficiency, so taking steps to improve employee morale, reduce stress, and facilitate a healthy work-life balance can directly translate to an improved bottom line.

To that end, Circuit massively improves employees’ ability to work remotely, presenting them with an identical environment with access to the same data, same communication channels, and even the same SIP phone, no matter where they connect from, or which device.

This means that you can be confident that remote working employees will have access to the full range of information and resources they require to be productive, so you can be comfortable giving your employees the flexibility that will improve their happiness.

Reduced waste

Finally Circuit reduces wasted costs, directly impacting your bottom line. The reduction of wasted money is easy to explain: Circuit unifies a wide variety of communication services that most businesses use multiple single-purpose applications to achieve.

Each single-purpose app carries a monthly fee, but PRS Telecom can deliver Circuit for a single fee, comparable to that of single-purpose apps, but for the whole communication suite.

Conclusion

With the Circuit by Unify system PRS Telecom focuses on delivering real, tangible, business benefits that empower your employees and give you peace of mind, while remaining competitively priced.

Find out more about Circuit.

For more information contact Alex Phillips at alex@prstelecom.co.uk or on 07948 237 655

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Posted by PRS Telecom

Wed 31st, Jan

With business-focused communications apps commonplace these days, it can be difficult to be enthusiastic about trying, or even investigating, a new one.

More and more businesses facilitating remote working, and an increasing need to collaborate in real time across geographically dispersed sites, the platforms you use to communicate have a massive impact.

PRS Telecom is delivering Circuit by Unify to empower you to communicate more efficiently. Here are eight things that Circuit does that make it worth investigating properly.

1. Circuit Enhances Collaboration

Circuit is a unified communications platform, bringing together a huge number of services, including email, chat, video conferencing, telephony, VoIP, and file sharing, into a single application.

You can see who is online, send them a chat message, bring them into a video conference, share your screen, and share the files you are collaborating on, all with a few taps, and without leaving a single app.

2. Built-in AES Security

With data security being more important than ever, you need all of your online communications to be secure.

Circuit guarantees this by providing industry standard AES encryption to all communication, giving you peace of mind that your business-critical information is secure.

3. Never Lose Track of a Conversation

Most businesses currently use multiple single-function apps, meaning communications and files are scattered all over the place, potentially with no audit trail at all.

Since Circuit merges all communication streams within a single app, it means that everything is right there, fully logged, and fully searchable. There’s no need to remember whether the file was sent by instant message, shared, or attached to an email - just search in Circuit.

4. Reduce Wasted Time

With single-function apps, you waste a lot of time just flipping back and forth, trying to find the right window for that particular moment, often ending up sidetracked by something unrelated that you spot in passing.

With Circuit, you don’t need to leave the app to refer back to an email, so there’s no time spent flipping through different screens, no trouble finding the reference, and no time wasted.

5. Stay Productive Anywhere

Through cloud-based multi-platform delivery, Circuit greatly enhances your flexibility, freeing you from the confines of your desk like never before.

Circuit is available as a mobile app, as well as a browser app, meaning you can login from anywhere - your desk, your phone, or even at home - and have access to the same conversations, the same collaboration capabilities, and the same environment.

6. SIP Integration Made Easy

Internet telephony, especially SIP trunking, is enhancing business telephony like nothing else before it, and Circuit takes advantage of this by seamlessly integrating SIP.

Instead of having to ‘cheat’ by forwarding your desk phone or similar, you can use Circuit’s Universal Telephony Connector to make and receive calls through your SIP-provided number from anywhere you login.

7. A Personal Assistant

Circuit has an API and can integrate with Sales force and Remedy for help desk trouble ticketing systems. Also as an FYI RSS feeds can be implemented for example road traffic conditions sent out to you at 5:25 pm daily so you can schedule your route home. It’s bespoke and can be configured and act just like your very own personal assistant.

8. The Price is Right

When you run multiple single-purpose apps, each one carries a separate fee. These may be small individually, but they add up quickly. With UK partner PRS Telecom, Circuit is available for a single fee for the entire suite, which is comparable to the fee for many single-purpose apps.

If that doesn’t convince you, Circuit also offers a free trial package for up to 100 users - making it very tempting indeed.

Find out more about Circuit.

For more information contact Alex Phillips at alex@prstelecom.co.uk or on 07948 237 655

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Posted by PRS Telecom

Tue 30th, Jan

PRS Telecom is the premier provider of Circuit by Unify. So why contact PRS Telecom?

We will work in partnership with you to analyse your specific business requirements and deliver the perfect solution for your communication needs.

First class implementation service and customer support means that PRS is the only place to go for your Circuit unified communications system.

Introduction:

With the incredible rate of evolution in the IT world, especially in the sphere of communication, it is impossible to keep track of every new innovation. This is doubly true when it comes to business-targeted apps, since so many ‘new’ communication solutions appear, only to disappear without a trace a few months later.

With both of these things in mind, you can clearly be forgiven for not having heard of Circuit by Unify, the 2015 TMC Communications Solution Product of the Year. But what is Circuit, and why should you believe that it is worth investigating?

What is Circuit?

Circuit by Unify is a unified communications platform, bringing together multiple communication streams into a single consistent mobile or browser app, cutting down on costs and increasing employee efficiency and cooperation.

Circuit is delivered throughout the UK by telecommunications leader PRS Telecom, a company with a proven track record of delivering industry leading solutions for businesses, both in the mobile and in-office spheres.

Circuit amalgamates and simplifies VoIP communication, including conference calling and video calling, as well as text messaging and email, in a single application. Circuit encrypts and fully logs communication, so nothing is ever missed or forgotten - you can always refer back to the conversation you just had.

Circuit integrates seamlessly with existing SIP communication as well as traditional IP communication, giving employees access to identical information with an identical presentation, whether they are working at their desk, on their phone, or on a remote system. The combination of cloud access and full encryption takes the frustration out of mobile working, encouraging productivity.

With all communication channels being integrated within a single application, employee time can be used much more efficiently, as Circuit eliminates the need to switch between different single-purpose applications looking for a communication or attachment. All of the communication streams are accessible and searchable in one place.

While many of these features are already used by businesses around the globe, they tend to be single purpose applications, usually meaning a different fee for each service, which can add up quickly. Through PRS Telecom, Circuit is able to offer a unified communications suite for a single fee that is comparable to that of many single-use applications.

Is Circuit Just Another App Fad?

Most productivity apps that come and go are trying to sell something new - a new platform, or a niche service, which actually serves to separate its users from others, rather than to facilitate communication.

Circuit does the opposite. Circuit doesn’t offer a new service that can only communicate with users on that service, but instead, it offers a unified communications platform to transform your use of the services you already rely on.

Instead of offering a new solution, which may be left on the scrapheap of history alongside other ‘also-ran’ technologies, Circuit is integrating and enhancing the usability of proven solutions to help empower your employee collaboration.

Unlike many apps that offer either a proprietary solution or are maintained by tiny startups, which may not gain market traction, Circuit has been adopted and is fully supported by UK telecom leader, PRS telecom, whose thirteen year history of delivering top-quality service can give you peace of mind.

Business communication moves quickly, and Circuit helps you and your employees keep up, giving employees more control over their work, and facilitating a healthier work-life balance by giving staff the opportunity to work remotely without losing any functionality, or being cut off from any communication streams. While there are many apps that fade away quickly, don’t believe for a moment that Circuit is one of them.

Find out more about Circuit.

For more information contact Alex Phillips at alex@prstelecom.co.uk or on 07948 237 655

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Wed 24th, Jan

A trade delegation from Egypt delivered an exciting prospectus of opportunities to Liverpool businesses at a briefing held on Monday 22nd January at the offices of Hill Dickinson, in Liverpool City Centre.

The event was organized by the Department for International Trade and supported by the Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce and was designed to develop and inform the trading opportunities and connections between the Liverpool City Region and Egypt, particularly the port city of Alexandria.

A dozen businesses joined the briefing, chaired by Wendy Freeman, HM Consul General at the British Consulate Alexandria, Mr Mustafa El Deeb, Advisor  on Maritime transport and logistics to the Egyptian Minister of Transport, Admiral Medhat Attia, Chairman of the Port Authority for Alexandria

Guests were presented with a market economic overview of Egypt by Iman Elsherif, Secretary-General of the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce before subsequent briefings were delivered by Admiral Mustafa El Deeb, Advisor to Egypt’s Minister of transport for Ports, and Rear Admiral Medhat Attia.

Attendees were presented with advice and guidance about local customs arrangements and were informed about the substantial opportunities for companies in oil, gas and petrochemical industries, agriculture, tourism, healthcare, civil engineering and maritime development.

After the briefing, the delegation continued to the Town Hall to meet with the Lord Mayor and city representatives  and officials to discuss a potential friendship arrangement between Alexandria and Liverpool and the potential participation of an Egyptian delegation at the International Business Festival in the summer of 2018. A subsequent tour of Peel Ports concluded the delegation visit on 23 January.

Businesses with an interest in trading with Egypt in the Transport and Healthcare sectors are encouraged to attend a three day trade mission on 11 – 14 February, at which participants will meet key industrial and political figures in Cairo and Alexandria. The trade mission may be eligible for funding through the “ Enhancing SMES International trade Performance” program delivered by DIT   or ‘New Markets’ program delivered by the Chamber of Commerce to eligible companies in the Liverpool City Region.

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Thu 18th, Jan

The launch this week of Transport for the North’s (TfN) consultation on its draft Strategic Transport Plan has met with a mixed reaction – not all positive! Whilst there has been some cynicism expressed around the deliverability of the Plan and funding in particular, the general view seems to be that at the very least it is a step in the right direction, bringing business and civic leaders together from across the North to develop an economic case for more investment in transport.

This is just one of a number of infrastructure related policies currently out for consultation including the new Major Road Network and the Strategic Roads Network. We discussed the latter with Highways England colleagues at our Transport Policy Forum last week as well as more local priorities to be delivered by the Combined Authority including the Key Route Network, which links primary destinations across the Liverpool city region.

It is tempting to get drawn into the wider strategic debate around transport infrastructure across the North, whether rail or road, but we should not ignore the importance of the decisions being made around our local transport network which impact on business on a daily basis, whether moving people or freight, and which also include strategically important schemes like the proposals for the A5036 to improve access to the Port of Liverpool.

It is also easy to dismiss consultations as simply window dressing but we know from our discussions with partners, including Merseytravel and the Department for Transport, that the voice of the private sector is often under represented and there is a genuine desire to engage more constructively with businesses, particularly at a local level.

Louise Ellman MP also joined us at the Forum to provide her unique perspective on transport issues impacting on the region. The key message from all our contributors at the Forum was unanimous – now is the time for business to get its voice heard! By being more engaged you have the opportunity not only to highlight your own business priorities but also to help support the case to government for more local as well as regional transport investment.

If you would like more information on any of the issues above or how we can work on your behalf through our Transport Policy Forum and the wider Chamber network, please contact me via policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

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Posted by Brabners

Fri 05th, Jan

The January transfer windows often see the market-place saturated with documentation (purporting to be sub-contracted mandated authorisation documents) linked to the marketing of foreign based players (the “Player”). As the Player, the contracted foreign agent (the “Foreign Agent”), the selling club (and possibly the third party economic rights holders) are based overseas, the draw of the English leagues presents opportunities for Intermediaries registered and governed by The FA (the “Intermediary”) to accept sub-contracted work (relating to the services defined in the representation contract between the Player and the Foreign Agent) to help the Player procure a transfer to a club in England. Often the Foreign Agent will not be registered with The FA therefore an Intermediary can provide an efficient solution to the Foreign Agent’s inability to conclude a transaction for the Player in England.

Whilst the opportunities appear to be plenty, and the scope to generate intermediary commissions / fees efficiently (for example by not having to invest time, effort and cost in developing a relationship with an English based player), there are a number of problems with this type of transaction. Some of the problems are linked to the following (which is not an exhaustive list):

  • a lack of understanding of the intermediaries regulations in the respective countries;
  • a lack of understanding of the process and checks implemented by The Home Office and The FA for granting a Governing Body Endorsement’ for issuing a work permit;
  • a lack of understanding of the registration rules and regulations of the relevant League and The FA;
  • a lack of understanding of the contractual scope and wider legal implications of the documentation which purports to be ‘sub-contracted mandated authorisation’ documents;
  • pressure to generate intermediary commissions / fees in a very time and opportunity limited market-place;
  • a desire on the parts of the Player and the Foreign Agent to retain as much control as possible (often granting non-exclusive authorisation to market the foreign player in England and / or to specific clubs);
  • a desire on the parts of the Player and the Foreign Agent to create as much opportunity for a move as possible (often granting duplicated (and allegedly ‘exclusive’) authorisations to numerous Intermediaries; and
  • far too many third parties involved in the transaction chain between the Player (the Foreign Agent) and the Intermediary.

If you are an Intermediary registered with The FA and have relationships with foreign based players and agents then the below checklist might assist you in assessing the merits of a prospective transaction and the risk involved with the contractual terms proposed by the foreign based player and agent.

These issues should be clarified between the parties and all supporting documentation obtained prior to committing to engage in any Intermediary Activity in England. The below represents an ‘ideal’ scenario but, in reality, the market-place will not allow all of the issues below to be dealt with as comprehensively as the Intermediary would like.

1.     Obtain a copy (preferably certified) of the Player’s passport. This will allow the Intermediary to be confident in his / her knowledge of the Player’s:

i)              Full name;

ii)             Date of birth;

iii)            Place of birth; and

iv)            Nationality (and if the Player has dual nationality).

2.     If the Player is an EU / EEA national then currently (awaiting any post Brexit rule changes) the Intermediary can proceed to the negotiation of the sub-contract terms.

3.     If the Player is a non EU / EEA national then further information must be obtained to assess the eligibility of the Player for a work permit:

i)              What is the current FIFA ranking of the Player’s national team?

ii)             How many competitive matches have been played by that national team in the last 24 months (12 months if the Player is 21 or under)?

iii)            What percentage of those games, in which the Player was available, has the Player played in (subject to FIFA ranking of the national team, the player must have played in between 45% - 75% depending on ranking)?

iv)            Can the above be confirmed by the national association of the Player (if not then attempt to obtain independent confirmation) and can supporting evidence be obtained?

v)             Does the prospective buying club have a current sponsorship certificate licence?

vi)            What is the proposed selling fee (full details of guaranteed and contingent payments)?

vii)           What are the Player’s salary and benefit package demands (net of tax)?

4.     Obtain a copy of the Player and Foreign Agent representation contract.

5.     Identify any third party rights in the player (full details and supporting documentation to be provided). Such rights must be extinguished prior to or as part of the transfer transaction.

6.     Identify any third party rights owner’s willingness to sell its rights and the desired transfer fee (full details and supporting documentation provided).

7.     Attempt to contract in writing with the Player and the Foreign Agent to deal with the following issues (in as clear terms as possible):

i)              The extent of the authorisation – exclusive or non-exclusive authorisation (ideally the Intermediary will want exclusive authorisation to market the Player within the jurisdiction of England, to all clubs, and for the duration of the transfer window);

ii)             A future obligation on the Player and the Foreign Agent to formally sub-contract all intermediary services in England to the Intermediary (or for the Player to formally enter into a representation contract with the Intermediary in England);

iii)            Identify clearly the desired intermediary commission / fees value and split apportionments between the Foreign Agent and the Intermediary;

iv)            Identify clearly all payment terms agreed between the parties; and

v)             Identify any and all terms relating to the post transfer representation of the Player and the future relationship between the Foreign Agent and the Intermediary.

8.     If the Intermediary is lucky enough to address all of the above issues, and broker a transfer of a foreign Player to an English club then the Intermediary must record the terms of his / her representation engagement with the Player and / or the English club and lodge it with The FA prior to engaging in Intermediary Activity. The Player and / or club and the Intermediary must also complete all the relevant declarations and documents required by The FA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries) prior to receiving payment.

Should you require any support with any of the issues discussed above then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Brabners Sports Sector Team.

Good luck! 

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Posted by Brabners

Fri 05th, Jan

It’s been on the radar for some time but today marks 3 months until the date by which private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees need to publish their gender pay gap information.

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, which came into force in April last year, require analysis and publication of the gender pay gap information based on six compulsory calculations that are aimed at exposing gender pay gaps by no later than 4 April each year. The first such report is required by 4 April 2018.

Where a gap exists (and in most organisations, it’s more than likely to, in April 2016 the ONS recorded the gender pay gap in the UK as a whole as being 18.1%) then employers should question the causes of the gender pay gap in their organisations and, it is hoped, will consider the measures they can take to narrow it.

Crucially, once employers publish their gender pay gap reports, it will also be existing employees, potential job applicants, customers, contractors, suppliers and clients that may question why there is a gap and what steps are being taken to address this.  In the government’s consultation response, the Young Women’s Trust was cited as reporting that 84% of women surveyed, aged 16 – 30, would consider an employer’s gender pay gap before applying for a job.

As at 21 December over 450 employers (including some public sector employers) have already published their information.

If you haven’t yet published the required information we can help by advising on compliance with this new regime, reviewing your draft reports, advising on tricky areas such as:

  • casual workers;
  • overseas employees;
  • pension contributions;
  • bonus payments; and
  • share options.

We can also assist you with drafting a narrative that explains any gender pay gap and details strategy for reducing it.

In some circumstances, seeking advice may also bring the benefit of legal professional privilege against information and draft reports/data that would otherwise be disclosable in legal action, such as Equal Pay claims.

Don’t delay- the clock is ticking loudly now for reports to be published for 2017 by 4 April 2018.

For further information, please contact: 

Susan McKenzie                           Lee Jefcott
Solicitor, Employment                   Partner, Employment and Pensions


Author: Susan McKenzie

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 22nd, Dec

2017 has been monumental in our country’s political and economic history and 2018 promises to be another unpredictable period for business, albeit one with tremendous opportunity that the Chamber looks forward to supporting.

There is no doubt that the impending Brexit negotiations on trade will have fundamental implications, not just for our international traders but for those dependent upon the import of raw materials and goods. Ensuring our businesses are prepared for changes to customs practices and immigration will be integral to the Chamber’s goals in the New Year, hopefully avoiding the political noise and fanfares about the colour of a passport and focussing on the essentials of how we will trade goods and services and employ people with the right skills for the jobs we need to be done.

The return of the International Business Festival in 2018 once again gives us the opportunity to place Liverpool as a great destination to do business, whether attracting inward investment, pursuing overseas trade links or brokering trade between international partners. The festival accompanies a huge piece of work looking at how Liverpool City Region positions itself on the world stage and allocates its resources to achieve our shared global ambitions. We look forward to working with our Members to ensure businesses are positioned centrally to the development of such strategies.

We remain below the national average in skills attainment. More must be done to maximise the outstanding assets of our higher education institutes and the talent they provide, to support the development of our local economy. Similarly, our providers of apprenticeships and training have much to offer and our job is to ensure our employers have the ability to access such opportunities in a much clearer and simplified way. The voice of business is key to ensuring employer need within the work-based learning environment is clear.

Finally, the welcome progression of Northern Powerhouse investment in transport and digital must be maintained into tangible returns in 2018. The development of High Speed rail links from West to East in addition to North-South needs to accompany shorter term investments in road, rail and air transport infrastructure that prioritises access to and from the port, airport and motorway networks. We look forward to getting the views of business involved in the debate and will continue to lobby regionally and nationally to ensure our city region is not held back by an inability to move people and freight.

So there is much to look forward to. I’d like to thank all of our members and shareholders for their support through this challenging year. The Chamber’s provision of knowledge, advocacy and network services within the city region will develop substantially in 2018 and we enter the New Year confident that we can deliver the mantra of the Chamber’s founding members: that we meet and act for a common good and represent the commercial interests of Liverpool.

Have a wonderful Christmas. We look forward to being your agents, advocates, supporters and champions in 2018. 

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