Top tips for taking on an apprentice in Chesterfield

Hiring an apprentice can bring a wealth of benefits to your business from improved productivity to improvements in the quality of products and services.

This blog explores the top tips for taking on an apprentice from Chesterfield based apprentice providers. Apprentice providers offer support to develop your workforce by hiring an apprentice and offering apprenticeship training.

1. Apprentices are employees that are learning

Katy Baker, Head of Quality and Curriculum at Essential Site Skills, explained:

“New apprentices are in training from day one giving them the opportunities to understand their role and your business. The aim is that in the long term they will become an integral and important employee to the business.

Don’t hire an apprentice expecting them to know everything in your industry or field, they need regular support and mentoring within their role, so ensure you understand what an apprenticeship is all about. Learning with a highly skilled apprenticeship provider along with in-company training and mentoring will support that individual into becoming an important asset to your business.”

2. Conduct research to find the right training provider for you

Tom Fearn, Recruitment Manager at Apprentice Team, said:

“Apprenticeships allow businesses to develop and expand whilst also upskilling current employees as well. Prior to recruiting an apprentice, make sure you conduct appropriate research to find the correct training provider and consider information such as Ofsted grades, achievements and feedback from other employers that is available on the gov website.”

current apprentices in Chesterfield

3. Help fill your skills gap by developing new talent through the recruitment of an apprentice

Anne Wright, Managing Director at Workpays, suggested:

“Help fill your skills gap by developing new talent through the recruitment of an apprentice. Work with the training provider to tailor the learning to meet the skills needs of the business whilst developing the apprentice to gain a beneficial qualification.

When hiring an apprentice, you should consider offering a mentor or coach to help this individual develop and thrive. This person should be a positive ambassador and may have done something similar themselves previously.  This will greatly add value to the apprentice’s journey and increase the chances of retaining them as a valuable employee of the future.”

4. Show your commitment to the apprentices learning

Tom Malpass, Business Development Manager – Apprenticeships at Buxton and Leek College, explained:

“Make sure to show your commitment to their learning and how you know it will be mutually beneficial to both the apprentice and the business.”

Become an apprentice in Chesterfield

5. Consider what skills gap you have and the role the apprentice will carry out

James Lund, Head of Business and Development at Chesterfield College Group, provided us with his top tip:

“Take the time to think about the skills gaps you have and the role the apprentice will carry out. This will help to make sure you are recruiting the right person to benefit your business. It is also important to consider how your organisation will mentor the apprentice in the workplace to make sure you can develop the apprentice to their full potential, giving you the biggest return on your investment. Your apprenticeship provider should be able to support you through this process.”

6. Work with a training provider to find the right apprentice candidate for your business

Scott Tait, Business Development Manager at GBS Apprenticeships, said:

“Work closely with your training provider to make sure they are aware of the type of candidate that would flourish and succeed within your business setting. An apprentice needs to thrive in the right environment with the right business for their career and equally a business needs to have the right apprentice in order to grow and support the needs of the business.”

Resources and Information

7. Make sure to showcase any progression opportunities

Roy Barton, Academy Manager at One to One Training, advised:

“For me, it would be all about progression. What career can the apprentice expect to move into and what are the longer term opportunities? If an apprentice is offered a choice of gaining a qualification but limited in opportunities to progress beyond this with one employer, and another has longer term strategy and vision, then it is likely the apprentice will choose the one with more opportunity.”

8. Invest time into your apprentice to reap the rewards in the future

Paul Burton, Head of Apprenticeships at DBC Training, explained:

“Make sure that you have the availability to invest time into your apprentice. Ensure to remain patient during the early stages and check your apprentice understands everything. For a lot of apprentices, this could be their first full-time job and therefore require additional attention. If you invest the time at the start, you will reap the rewards in the future.”

Find out more about hiring an apprentice and the funding which is available here.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , , ,

£1m funding boost to expand the work of the D2N2 Skills Access Hub

An additional £1m in funding has been secured to expand a project aimed at helping businesses and employees access skills and training across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The D2N2 Skills Access Hub was set up in April 2020 to provide tailored solutions and flexible delivery to meet the skills and apprenticeship priorities of employers and employees across Derby Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The Hub was created with an award of £4.8m from the European Social Fund has been supporting 888 small and medium-sized businesses to access skills provision and 2,220 individuals to improve their own skills attainment.

By agreeing the extra £926,633 of funding, Nottingham City Council can increase the number of businesses supported to 1,060 and the number of individuals supported to 2,650.

Half the funding will come from the European Social Fund and half will come from Skills Access Hub delivery partners including the University of Nottingham, West Nottinghamshire College, Futures, Direct Help and Advice, and Nottingham College.

Around half the project participants are expected to be based in Nottingham with the rest in Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire.

Will Morlidge, Interim Chief Executive at D2N2 LEP said: “It’s great to see this additional funding for the Skills Access Hub programme, which will allow even more businesses and individuals in the D2N2 area to achieve the skills needed for our region’s economic growth.”

Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development, Councillor Rebecca Langton, said: “We were pleased to accept this funding so the project can be widened to include even more businesses and workers so that they can thrive and achieve their potential.”

To find out more about a number of business support initiatives available here in Chesterfield, go to:

Selling for Non-Sales People



Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Promising response to Green Entrepreneurs Scheme from Derbyshire businesses

More than 130 people from businesses and community groups across Derbyshire joined the virtual launch of Derbyshire County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Fund – a £2 million grant fund for organisations interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

Businesses and organisations heard details about how they can apply for funding through the scheme being run in partnership with the University of Derby to help support green economic recovery across Derbyshire.

There are 3 separate funds:

Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund
£1.2 million set aside for a small number of high-quality projects from entrepreneurs wanting to establish green, alternative energy or low carbon initiatives in Derbyshire to provide community heat and power schemes. The minimum grant available through this fund would be £100,000. Applications for expressions of interest will open 1 April 2021.

Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund
Grants of £10,000 – £20,000 for new and existing businesses with game changing proposals in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction. £500,000 will be made available through this fund. There will be 3 separate rounds in which to apply for funding – the first will launch on 1 April 2021 followed by further rounds opening on 4 October 2021 and then 3 January 2022.

Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund
A training fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of alternative energy. £100,000 will be made available through this fund. Grants will be awarded monthly from July 2021 onwards.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis added:

“We’re championing business innovation and want Derbyshire to become a leader in the field in the development of green energy as part of our bold ambition to cut the council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2032 and that of the Derbyshire economy by 2050.

“We believe there is a unique opportunity to bring greater benefits to local communities and the local economic conditions to create high quality jobs driven by utilising the local skills base in engineering and manufacturing.

“We’re excited to be able to offer businesses the financial support needed to help turn their ideas into reality, through game changing proposals that help to tackle climate change and impact positively on the way we all live in the future both in Derbyshire and further afield.”

Councillor Tony King, Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“We’ve had an unbelievable response to the scheme so far from businesses and community organisations across Derbyshire.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the applications start to come in with proposals for projects to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost the local economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would urge anyone who was unable to join the virtual launch to visit to find out more.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“I am delighted that the Green Entrepreneur launch was such a success. It is really encouraging to see so much interest and enthusiasm from local businesses in taking up opportunities like this to operate more sustainably and to make a real contribution towards reducing their carbon footprint.

“We look forward now to working with the county council to deliver the scheme to our entrepreneur community, and to make Derbyshire synonymous with sustainable business.”

Find more information about the programme including application forms, timetable for grant funding and eligibility criteria.

Posted in Business, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

East Midlands Chamber survey shows region’s economic recovery is “treading water” – but businesses are confident about future

The economic recovery has stalled in the East Midlands as tightening Covid-19 restrictions took their toll on businesses, according to new research published today.

An East Midlands Chamber study found cashflow and advanced orders were significantly affected for many firms during the final quarter of 2020 as the second national lockdown in November – straddled by the most severe tiered coronavirus restrictions imposed on the region and the uncertainty leading to the end of the Brexit transition period – undermined resilience to future shocks and the ability to respond to new opportunities.

However, the Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020 showed signs of light at the end of the tunnel as a net 16% of businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire said they expected to create jobs in the three months following the study, which was conducted in November – while there were also positive indicators for turnover, profitability and investment intentions.

The restrained confidence for the prospects of 2021 was reflected in the Chamber’s State of the Economy Index, which aggregates the survey data to provide an overall “health score”, as it flatlined following the rebound of Q3.

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Future pricing intentions started to creep up as increases in raw material costs – along with access difficulties – began to impact on manufacturers. Advanced orders and bookings were down for many as the national lockdown in November caused some to pause their plans and a general sentiment of ‘wait and see’ started to pervade the conversations of some.

“In conversations with businesses, many spoke of a ‘weariness’ and ‘fatigue’ at navigating themselves and their staff through the difficulties of the past 10 months.

“However, there was still an undercurrent of tentative optimism for the coming year, as reflected in the confidence indicators for future turnover and profitability, perhaps acknowledging that the current predicament can’t last forever.

“The economy, as a whole, hasn’t slipped back to the place it was in during May and June, nor has it continued its rebound from that position. Instead, it can best be described as ‘treading water, waiting to see whether the final days of a year that asked more questions than anyone would have anticipated finally delivered some answers.”

Key findings of East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020

Some 476 businesses across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire took part in the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020.

A third of these were from a manufacturing background, while 200 exporters were represented within the cohort.

Key findings from the survey, conducted between 2 and 23 November, showed:

• Sales decreased for a net 9% of businesses involved in the UK market and net 17% of firms in the overseas market in the three months leading to the survey
• Advanced orders for the three months following the study were down for a net 14% of companies in the UK market and net 21% of those with international operations
• Cashflow worsened for a net 15% of companies. This was the fourth consecutive quarter in which this indicator fell into negative territory
• Investment intentions were in positive territory, with spending plans revised upwards for a net 2% when it comes to buying new plant, machinery or equipment, and a net 10% for training
• A net 6% decreased their workforce during Q4 but a net 16% expected headcount to increase over the first three months of Q1 2021
• Business confidence levels remained stable after a deep fall over the summer. A net 35% of firms expected turnover to improve in Q1 2021 and a net 20% predicted a rise in profitability

What policymakers must do in 2021 to help businesses

The Chamber models the survey data across a range of key performance indicators, including sales and orders, recruitment, cashflow, investment intentions and confidence, to produce a quarterly State of the Economy Index, which enables it to compare local business performance quarter-by-quarter.

In Q2, the score fell to -411, its lowest level on record and the first time it’s fallen into negative territory. It was back into positive territory for Q3 – but only just at +17 – and there was only a three-point increase to +20 in Q4.

This means it remains the third lowest score on record and 221 points lower than the pre-Covid survey for Q1 2020.

Chris added: “It’s clear that 2020 was unprecedented, unpredictable and created amazing levels of uncertainty. Much of what has gone on has been out of businesses’ ability to control. However, under those circumstances, with one hand tied behind their backs, they have worked to manage those factors that they can control, looking for internal efficiencies, improvements in quality and new opportunities.

“As we move into 2021, policymakers must do likewise. It is in their gift to control the nation’s capacity for testing, the speed at which a vaccine is rolled out and the availability and reading of data on how the pandemic is progressing.

“They can also control the levels of business support provided, the rules as to how it’s accessed, and the measures that exist to allow businesses to reopen and make money without Government support.

“It is essential that we get this right for 2021, particularly as we begin the year in the worst possible manner with the prospect of at least two months of national lockdown.

“Despite all the challenges of the past year, the vast majority of businesses have made it through – with some even finding opportunities to excel. If the first half of 2021 follows a similar pattern to the past six months, then more of those currently treading water may sadly slip under.”


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Chesterfield Champions reflect on a challenging year and share messages of positivity for 2021

As we move towards Christmas and the new year, Chesterfield Champions have sent their messages to the local community as we look ahead to 2021.

If you’re interested about signing your business up to Chesterfield Champions, you can find out more by clicking here.

Destination Chesterfield has also been supporting local businesses throughout the festive period by promoting the Christmas In Chesterfield campaign. Click here to find out more about local Christmas shopping and events.

“The Chesterfield community has shown true compassion, resilience and innovation – pulling together to help one another in the exceptional times we’ve been living through in 2020. I’m truly proud and humbled by their spirit. We know that Christmas must feel a little different this year, but I wish people a very safe and happy festive period, and together we look forward to a brighter new year.” Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council

“2020 has been a tough year. I am immensely proud of the council’s staff who have gone well above and beyond their daily roles to put Chesterfield’s communities first. We have the beating of Covid-19 and with lots of new developments underway or planned, the priority for 2021 must be to make sure that local people benefit from the jobs that are created. We must be fully focused on addressing unemployment and improving people’s quality of life.” Huw Bowen, Chief Executive, Chesterfield Borough Council

Huw Bowen - Chesterfield Borough Council

“2020 has been a year of partnership, collaboration and innovation which has delivered remarkable results in challenging times. Working with Chesterfield Borough Council and Chesterfield Champions, we have seen some truly innovative virtual projects emerge, like Made in Chesterfield and the Christmas campaign, to connect and inform the community. We go into 2021 in excellent shape with a strong story of resilience and innovation to tell potential investors in the town.” Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager

Dom Stevens Destination Chesterfield Manager

“2020 has been characterised by some bold decisions which will shape the future prosperity of Chesterfield. Once again, the town bucked the trend. When everyone else was battening down the hatches amidst the Covid storm, Chesterfield Borough Council forged ahead with supporting commercial developments at Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside, which will deliver employment opportunities. Given the vaccination programme, we now can go into 2021 with hope, and an undercurrent of positivity and excitement.” Peter Swallow, Managing Director, Bolsterstone Group Plc

Peter Swallow Chair of Destination Chesterfield

“Being a care home operator, this year we focused on maintaining the safety and security of our existing business. Reminding myself that we have a serious and pressing duty of care to keep the most vulnerable members of society safe and well has given me focus and purpose in an uncertain time. My hope is that we emerge from this with a newfound respect and value for what is most important – the people in our lives.” Brendan Kelly, Group Managing Director, Heathcotes Group


“Covid meant that plans to open a new shop to had to be put as the promotion of one of our apprentices. Despite these disappointments, seeing how the community has pulled together has really impressed me. Looking to 2021 I want the town to prosper as a result of it having amazing businesses within it. I want more businesses to see the benefit of working together. The worlds our oyster so let’s all get involved!” Martin Wallis-Keyworth, Owner, Less than Zero Barbers

“Covid has had a big impact on the hospitality industry within the town centre. Iit has also given us time to reflect on what we do well and how we can make things even better in the future. With the continued support of our loyal customers, we look forward to opening again soon. Next year I want to see every single one of our customers walk back through our doors, fit and healthy!” Claire Wood, Owner, Stephensons Tea and Coffee House

“Home took on new meaning this year, and I’m confident we have adapted to better support our customers and community in finding that. I’m endlessly inspired by my colleagues and the people of Chesterfield in overcoming 2020’s challenges and finding the good in everything. As a town we’re stronger and more supportive than ever – I know we can get through anything! Jessica Risorto Area Manager, Redbrik Estate Agents

“Edwards Employment Solutions is on track to have its most successful year ever. At the start of Covid we feared the worst, however the business has become stronger as the job market has grown. There are many jobs available locally and this is hugely positive for the town and people whose jobs may have been a casualty of the pandemic. There are lots of positives to push both Edwards and Chesterfield forward in 2021.” Izabella Edwards, Managing Director, Edwards Employment Solutions

“The sense of community and resilience shown in Chesterfield throughout the crisis has been outstanding and makes me proud to both live, work and have a business based here. We refused to let Covid get in the way of our business plans, moving to a larger office and recruiting new team members during 2020. Bridge Help goes into 2021 excited for the year ahead and with a strong platform for further growth.” Chris Sellars, Chief Executive, Bridge Help

“While many towns and cities shelved plans for construction projects, it is testament to Chesterfield’s forward thinking and resilience that it has forged ahead with high quality commercial and residential developments during 2020. The ripple effect of ongoing investment in the town has certainly been felt at DBCP where we continue to develop the team and are recruiting further ensuring we go into 2021 in a strong position and ready to support developments across Derbyshire.” Neil Johnson, Managing Director, Derbyshire Building Control Partnership


“It is fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for the skills and training sector however, out of adversity has come innovation. The industry and NLT have developed new ways of working and delivering courses which I am confident will benefit us all going into 2021 as we look to grow the business.” Sarah Temperton, Chief Executive, NLT Training Services

“2020 has been a terrible year for most, but the festive season will give us the chance to see family and friends and bring us some joy for Christmas. My wish is that business picks up for those companies struggling and those that are still thriving continue to even greater things in 2021! Growing businesses bring jobs to the local residents building a better economy for our fantastic town.”  Lee Ashley, Director, Spire Recruitment

Champion of the Week

“As we leave one of the most challenging years the world has ever faced, we look forward to a new year and the possibility of getting some normality in the year ahead.  We know economically times will be tough, but we hope that the Business Crime Reduction Partnership will help keep our town a safer place to shop and do business and we can’t wait to get out and see everyone face to face once more!” Jackie Roberts, Business Crime Reduction Partnership Manager at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).

chamber video export

“2020 was the year that Chesterfield’s big heart and amazing community spirit was needed more than any of us can remember.  Residents, community groups, businesses and statutory services rose to the challenge and worked together to make a difference. Social connections are so important. Let’s make the time and effort to connect with each other, and to reach out to those around us who are isolated at this time of year.” Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Voluntary Action

“We want to thank you all for your support through 2020, having pivoted our business from live events to supplying home events through our hampers via our website. Covid-19 has made us dig deep, stay focused and plan. We have worked with other local businesses and are really impressed with the camaraderie. We would love to see this spirit continue into next year and look forward for the vaccine rollout to all be together again.” Natalia and Daniela Marchetta, Owners, Salute


“Although 2020 has been an unprecedented and incredibly difficult year, it’s also been one of the most heart-warming. We’ve had some lovely messages, conversations and acts of kindness from our customers and suppliers, that proves thar relationships throughout every aspect of business, are of paramount importance. ‘Shop Local’ has also come to the fore and we’re ever-grateful for our customers’ continued support and long-term, this support will help our independents become stronger than ever.” James Pogson, Director, Northern Tea Merchants

“What a year 2020 has been?! It would be easy to list the negatives, however, we’ve experienced a year of growth and seen our undervalued industry recognised as a key way of connecting with and being able to distribute ever-changing messages. Online communications and social media have allowed businesses to innovate and keep the conversation going with customers that would have otherwise been impossible. It’s important to keep this momentum going in 2021 and beyond.” Emma Loughlin, Director, eBusiness Works

“Sicily Restaurant is a young business which opened in August 2019. Me and my partner in crime run the restaurant together, it is our little dream! Obviously, it’s a very hard time for the hospitality industry but it’s a very hard time for everybody else too. We’re very positive and are sure that very soon all of us will be able to get back to our normal lives. 2021 will be a Great Year, Sicily Restaurant is always here to help you enjoy your special days. We’re sure that together, we can do it! Merry Christmas and a happy new year.” Monica and Peppe, Owners, Siclily Restaurant

“It has been so uplifting to see businesses coming together to support each other and the local community.  So many have adapted their services or products, and they have worked closely with the team at Destination Chesterfield to promote the town’s achievements.  It’s been a real pleasure this year to raise the profile of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire alongside 190 Chesterfield Champions.  And we have seen more support than ever for the Chesterfield High Street Awards, in a time when it has never been more important to shop locally.  Thank you to all the businesses that enabled us to reimagine our awards ceremony to showcase high street businesses for the first time via a live virtual platform.” – Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator


“2020 has been a tough year for many, here at S40 & S41 Local magazines we closed for three editions but were lucky enough to restart successfully towards the end of the year. Chesterfield has always had a strong sense of community and I’m seeing that more and more as businesses come together to support and help each other. Great examples are the Chesterfield is OPEN Signs used towards the end of the first lockdown and the more recent Christmas Elf, Advent Town and Paperstar Light trails that have popped up over Christmas. I am excited for 2021 after witnessing many ways in which the independent business community are working closer together, it can only mean good things for the new year.” Paul Chapman, S40 Local


“This year has been tough for everyone, we have all adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 and new ways of life. The highlight of 2020 for me has been how local businesses and the community have worked together to keep going strong. This year has made me appreciate where I live even more and I truly believe shopping and supporting local will be a high importance to everyone going into 2021.” Mollie Brown, Destination Chesterfield Coordinator

“Whilst 2020 has been a challenging year for many local people and businesses, I am proud to have seen first-hand the collective strength of our local community throughout this pandemic. It has been truly inspiring to see the creativity and innovation on display across all sectors and industries in Chesterfield. This year has gone to show that if we stick together as a community, we’re able to achieve great things even in the most adverse conditions. I am excited to continue working alongside the wonderful team at Destination Chesterfield and our Chesterfield Champions, as part of efforts to help the town bounce back even stronger in 2021.” Joshua Marsh, Destination Chesterfield Coordinator

Posted in Blog, Business, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Development, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Proof will be in the pudding for ‘levelling up’ funds, says Chamber in response to Rishi Sunak’s spending review

Responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review statement on Wednesday (25 November), Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “The Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast that GDP will contract by 11.3% in 2020, the largest fall in output for more than three centuries, underlines the massive scale of the problem we face as a nation.

“It’s important the Government recognises it’s the private sector that will get us back to growth so it must have a proper plan in place to provide the continued support for businesses to get them through this pandemic.
“The £3bn Restart programme, which will help more than one million people who are unemployed for over a year find new work, is a significant intervention that will help both young and old people enter sustainable employment. It builds on the work of the Work & Health Programme, the Kickstart scheme and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme – three projects the Chamber is helping to deliver.

“If the 2.2% increase to the National Living Wage is going to come into force in April like the Chancellor has promised, he must be prepared to ensure support is in place for the businesses that will have to bear these increases, many of which are in the sectors hit worst by the pandemic, such as hospitality, leisure and retail – otherwise this may only add to the burden of firms already struggling to survive amid continued shutdowns.
“It was positive to hear the Chancellor commit to the new Shared Prosperity Fund matching the numbers involved with current EU structural funds, which have been essential to parts of the country such as the East Midlands, and we await more detail on what the pilot programmes next year will involve.

“Finally, the £4bn pledged on levelling-up and a new UK infrastructure bank to be set up outside London appear to be positive moves, and it’s good to see various Government departments working together on this rather than in siloes.

“However, it must be noted that there have been so many announcements like this over the years by successive chancellors from different political parties, and it is not always clear which funds are new and which ones are repackaged from previous commitments.

“Ultimately, all these pledges amount to absolutely nothing until we see this money spent on the ground. We already know the East Midlands receives less infrastructure investment per head than anywhere else in the country – £268 per capita in 2018/19, just 56% of the £481 national average – and we still await confirmation of the Eastern Leg of HS2. On this one, the proof of the pudding will very much be in the tasting.”

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

High street expert to speak at 2020 Chesterfield Investment summit

Town centre expert Ojay McDonald will headline the speaker line-up at the fourth Chesterfield Investment Summit.

The free-to-attend event is being held virtually on Wednesday 25 November from 8.30am – 10am.

As Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management, Mr McDonald is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the high street, working with Government Ministers, parliamentarians, economic development professionals, business leaders and place-makers across the UK and Ireland to support town and city centres.

At the event he will address the challenges the high street faces following its second lockdown, and how it can be helped to survive and thrive in the face of adversity.

Mr McDonald will also be joined by a number of other speakers at the virtual event including Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands, who will talk about the post pandemic opportunities for Chesterfield within the rail sector.

Darren Mansfield, Partner at Global Real Estate Consultants Knight Frank, will also speak at the event to address Chesterfield’s office proposition. Knight Frank has recently been appointed to find tenants for the office space which is under construction at Chesterfield Waterside.

Additional speakers include Dr. Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, Cllr Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council and Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield which is one of the event’s organisers, commented: “The annual Investment Summit is always a popular event in the business community’s calendar, and I am delighted that we have been able to make it happen again despite the challenging circumstances.

“It’s very easy to feel doom and gloom but the Investment Summit will show that despite the pandemic, Chesterfield has continued to move forward with developments and plans, opening up investment opportunities which will make a significant difference to the recovery of the area.”

The event is organised by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and Marketing Derby and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund

Always a sell-out, the organisers anticipate high demand for this year’s virtual event. To find out more about the event and book your free place, please visit:

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Brexit Conference will prepare East Midlands businesses for new EU trading relationship

Businesses can find out how to prepare for a new trading relationship with the EU by attending a free online event hosted by East Midlands Chamber.

This year’s Brexit Conference, which takes place over the course of a morning on Thursday 26 November and is held in partnership with the Derbyshire Economic Partnership and Nottinghamshire County Council, will review the sweeping changes that 1 January 2021 will bring for exporters and importers.

Titled Business Preparedness: Where Are We Now?, it will offer guidance on the measures that can be taken to prepare for these changes and delve into what future trading conditions might look like.
East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles, who will deliver the opening address, said: “There are huge changes coming for businesses on 1 January, regardless of whether or not a trade deal is forthcoming, and now is the time to prepare.

“With all the latest updates, tips and takeaways, this year’s conference is a must for all those looking to continue, or prepare, trading overseas.”

The virtual conference involves a series of live streamed webinar sessions, keynote speakers and case studies.

It is aimed at businesses that trade internationally, customs agents, employees in businesses who are responsible for completing export documentation, and personnel who administer the documentation, sales, purchasing, logistics, dispatch and freight forwarders embarking into the export world.

Confirmed sessions include an overview of the future changes to trading conditions, HMRC update, routes to export markets, standards certification and the CE mark, effective supplier collaboration, HR implications and the ChamberCustoms offer.

Speakers include Keith Robe, managing director of customs solutions firm Cusdec; Simon Hart, lead international partner at RSM UK; Paragon Law managing director Thalej Vasishta; Nottingham University Business School professor of operations management Bart MacCarthy; and East Midlands Chamber’s director of partnerships David Pearson.

The Brexit Conference will take place on 26 November from 9am to 11.40am. To book a place, visit

Find out more about the range of support on offer for Chesterfield businesses, or to discover more business event happening locally, click here 


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Export Growth Plan launched to boost Chesterfield and Derbyshire businesses in overseas trading

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its ‘Export Growth Plan,’ which will provide additional financial support and expertise to help boost overseas activity for businesses.

Some of the plan is targeted towards companies based in Chesterfield and Derbyshire, including:

The Export Academy

Launched on 16 October 2020, The Export Academy is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses with a turnover of up to £500,000 to help build capabilities and confidence to trade internationally; and to overcome the challenges that businesses may face when they start to export.

Businesses can pick and mix which modules they would like to attend to find out how to understand customs procedures, export controls and documentation, getting paid, how to research international markets, pricing and distribution, export procedures, exporting products and services and Inco terms.

Structured around free one hour webinars, round tables and mentoring sessions, the Academy will give small and micro-businesses the opportunity to complete an export action plan, enabling you to take your business direct to international customers.

Internationalisation Fund

DIT is soon to release grants to help companies that have significant potential to grow their international sales. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire businesses (subject to eligibility and availability).

They are now accepting expressions of interest so that as soon as the fund is made available they can include you. The grants could cover the following areas – internationalising a website, procuring translation services, international consultancy, international legal advice, international IP advice, independent market visits or attendance at non TAP trade fairs.

1:1 consultations with an International Trade Adviser

DIT is offering a 30 minute 1:1 video or telephone consultation with an International Trade Adviser. If a business is experiencing issues in relation to international trade we are here to help.

Ian Harrison, Department for International Trade’s Head of Exports for Midlands said: “The Department’s recently launched Export Growth Plan will have a big impact across our region. Importantly, it will allow businesses in Chesterfield to grow their overseas trade and help them recover from the economic impact of coronavirus. This package of measures will ensure Midlands companies are supported from the start, with more funding, more Trade Advisers and the establishment of the Export Academy to help businesses build back better.”

You can find out more about what’s available here.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , , ,

Chesterfield Borough Council named among Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers

Chesterfield Borough Council is celebrating after being named as one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in England.

The council placed 82nd in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers which ranks the very best of England’s large apprenticeship employers, with employers recognised for providing some of the most successful apprenticeship programmes over the previous 12 months.

Chesterfield Borough Council currently employs more than 40 apprentices and has done a lot of work to promote apprenticeships throughout the borough by demonstrating the value of apprenticeships and through its pioneering ‘Apprentice Town’ project.

Councillor Jean Innes, cabinet member for business transformation and customers, said: “I’m delighted that we have been recognised in this way for the work we do with apprentices. We were the first town in the UK to declare itself an ‘Apprentice Town’ and we are committed to ensuring that young people in Chesterfield can build the skills and careers they want because this is key to ensuring that we are a thriving borough.

“We want Chesterfield to be a town where young people, businesses and parents think apprenticeship first and the council has to lead by example. That is why we have more than 40 apprentices working across the organisation in a wide range of disciplines including project management, legal services and commercial services.”

The council has apprentices working in almost every service area and they are helping ensure that the council has skilled individuals for the future.

Paul Davis, who is taking part in an apprenticeship programme with the council working towards a CIPFA Professional Qualification (Level 7), said: “I wanted to do the an apprenticeship with Chesterfield Borough Council because it allowed me to study further and to progress within my area of work. The apprenticeship gave me a greater understanding of the authority’s finances and management which I could apply directly to my everyday work for the council and enhance my future prospects with a globally recognised qualification.

“I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to other people as they are great way to learn and it provides you the opportunity to progress further in your career with the added benefit of not being left with a heavy burden of student debt at the end.”

Rachel O’Neil, assistant director for customers, commissioning and change, said: “I’m delighted that we have been recognised with this award for the work we do employing apprentices. Our apprenticeship programme provides the council with highly skilled individuals and in return help ensure they can build a career and a future they are proud of with the council.”

Miles Thirnwell, who recently completed a Housing/Property Management Level two apprenticeship with distinction whilst working for the council, said: “After leaving University this was a difficult time in terms of deciding on an alternative career path. However looking back, I am incredibly pleased with my decision of applying for an apprenticeship and despite the fact that they are often overlooked, they can provide an endless amount of opportunities and the provision of skills you need to develop in your desired career.

“My knowledge and skills were constantly progressing as I was always learning something new, whether this was in the office or whilst carrying out practical tasks throughout the borough. With Chesterfield Borough Council being eager to progress young employees and apprentices, this allowed my knowledge and experiences to develop even further as I was given access to training along with key college courses.”

Chesterfield Borough Council is just one of nine Local Government organisations to feature in the top 100.

Chesterfield Borough Council launched ‘Apprentice Town’ in 2017. It is run in partnership by Chesterfield Borough Council, Destination Chesterfield, the local business community, apprenticeship providers and The Apprentice Town steering group in order to raise awareness of apprenticeship activities and promote all aspects of apprenticeship provision.

2020 is the first year a ranking of the top 100 apprenticeship providers has been compiled. Find out more about ‘Apprentice Town’ here

apprentice town steering group

Posted in Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Essential Site Skills Director Shortlisted for Learning Leader of the Year

Essential Site Skills are proud to announce that their Training & Consultancy Director, Darren O’Neill, has been nominated for Learning Leader of the Year at the prestigious Learning Awards 2021.

It’s been another incredible 12 months for Darren, who has worked tirelessly as Essential Site Skills have adapted to face all the challenges that 2020 has thrown their way. Under his direction, ESS have introduced new ways of providing the training that workplaces need during this difficult time, all while maintaining and improving the overall level of quality across the board.

Darren has worked his way up to a leadership role, starting out as a trainer after leaving the armed forces. His training expertise and knowledge of the industry has allowed him to work his way up to become an industry leader in learning and development.

The Learning Awards are an annual event that celebrates outstanding individuals in the world of learning and development, run by The Learning and Performance Institute (LPI). Receiving one of these awards is the ultimate accolade for anyone working in the industry.

Darren said he was “super thrilled and very humbled” by the news, saying he was “thankful to be able to work alongside some fantastic talented colleagues at Essential Site Skills Ltd, and clients alike, across the Learning & Performance Industry.”

This is just the latest success for the company at the Learning Awards. At the 2019 awards, ESS were finalists in the Learning Provider of the Year category, with Training and Consultancy Manager, Michael Harcourt, winning the Rising Star Silver Award. Last year also saw ESS trainer Matt Fletcher nominated for the Rising Star award.

The Learning Awards 2021 will take place on 18th February at London’s Hilton Hotel.

Essential Site Skills Ltd supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Business, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter