A new podcast targeting business professionals in Greater Manchester has been launched by GC Business Growth Hub as part of the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme.

The podcast, ‘Skills for Growth’ has been produced to support business development and outlines the importance of skills, training, and innovation in Greater Manchester.

Skills for Growth – SME Support is commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and delivered in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The first series of the Skills for Growth podcast will be released with five, 30-minute episodes, hosted by Mentoring Relationship Specialist Andy Hall from GC Business Growth Hub, starring an array of expert guests.

The podcast picks up from the Government’s recent ‘roadmap to reopening’, looking at what it will now take for businesses to shape an ideal future and asking how business can play a part in creating ‘an even greater, Greater Manchester’.

Each episode will examine a number of pertinent themes including technology and digitisation, learning and career development in the workplace, change management, integrating health and wellbeing with business strategy, the changing landscape of apprenticeships and employment opportunity for young people, and more.

Podcast Host Andy Hall, Mentoring Relationship Specialist for GC Business Growth Hub, said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed presenting this podcast and learning from some genuine subject matter experts about how the great people and businesses of Greater Manchester can grow and develop through the support services of the Skills for Growth programme.

“The guests have all been fantastic despite my tough questions and they’ve reassured me – and will hopefully reassure our listeners too – that despite the challenges that we collectively face, the future of Greater Manchester remains very bright indeed”.

The first five episodes of the Skills for Growth podcast are:

Episode 1: How Skills will Shape your Future Growth
Featuring Nic Hutchins, Principal Lead at GMCA for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and the Senior Responsible Officer for the ESF Skills for Growth project.

Episode 2: How to Manage, Change, and Innovate
Featuring Peter Craen, Team Leader, and former Business Change Specialist at Skills for Growth – SME Support.

Episode 3: How to Build a Happier, Healthier Workforce
Featuring Maria Mander, Health & Wellbeing Specialist at Skills for Growth – SME Support.
Episode 4: How to Supercharge your Workforce with Apprenticeships

Featuring Suzanne McNicholas, Apprenticeship Specialist at Skills for Growth – SME Support, and Bronwyn Raper, Deputy Hub Lead within the Bridge GM Team at GMCA.

Episode 5: What the Future Holds for Business in Greater Manchester

Featuring Chris Fletcher, Policy, Campaigns & Communications Director at GM Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Jeffery, National Director, GC Business at The Growth Company.
Maria Mander, Health and Wellbeing Specialist at Skills for Growth – SME Support who features on episode three, said: “Our workplace skills, knowledge and training are vital tools that contribute to our overall wellbeing, which in turn is paramount for productivity.

“This new podcast is an opportunity for business professionals, and leaders especially, to take stock of recent events, to reflect on their own skills journey, and consider how they might boost the development of their own workforce with the insight and expertise of the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme.

“It’s been a real pleasure to be a guest and delve deeper into workplace wellbeing, which will hopefully impart some useful reflections that will be of benefit to those listening.”