Regional Chambers of Commerce and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have stepped up their free support to help businesses prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. 


The WMCA, Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (C&WCC) and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), are working together to scale up existing support.

The programme, available between September and February 2021, gives local businesses access to: 

• Fully funded places on a choice of 24 accredited and non-accredited high-quality international trade-focused training courses (worth c.£200+VAT per delegate per course)

• 15 free webinars featuring guest experts on all aspects of preparing for 2021, including intellectual property, data protection and immigration

• One-to-one support with customs and export documentation-related queries

• Digital resources, including business briefings, checklists and videos on key topics 

Corin Crane, the Black Country Chamber CEO said, “Following months of trade deal discussions between British, EU negotiators and prospective new trading partners, most British business leaders continue to worry about the limited progress made and the consequences of no deals or partially formed agreements. 

“This collaboration ensures that support is out there for our importers and exporters with the most relevant and timely detail provided to ensure that West Midland companies are able to navigate the trading landscape following the end of the transition agreement.”

To find out more about the support available, get in touch with our Policy team via email or telephone 0330 024 0820. 



£2 billion fund designed to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality, 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit. 


As the Government launched its £2 billion Kickstart scheme, aimed at helping young people into work, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and the British Chambers of Commerce joined forces to work together to support Black Country businesses to maximise the benefits of the scheme.

Launched on the 2nd of September, in response to the global pandemic, and with the labour market still strangled by the coronavirus crisis, it is hoped the latest government initiative will help the many individuals who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without meaningful employment. 

Corin Crane, Black Country Chamber CEO said, ‘The Government’s kickstart scheme is designed to help young people whose dreams, careers and ideal jobs have been affected by COVID-19. 

“Chambers up and down the country are fully supportive of this scheme and, through the power of the UK-wide Chamber network, we are on hand to assist Black Country businesses to access the scheme and encourage them to register their interest with us as soon as possible.”


The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. 

In addition, businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate can apply for £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

This means that for any business, of any size and operating in any sector who is looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply to create new 6-month job placements and support the next generation through the early stages of their career to develop skills and experience.


Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, "This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind because of the pandemic.

"The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country."


This year thousands of young people have already been furloughed or lost their jobs as the pandemic tore into the hospitality and retail sectors that employ a lot of young people. 

On top of that, more than 700,000 more people are leaving education and entering the labour market at an extremely difficult time. As a result, there are already more than 800,000 under-24-year-olds receiving Universal Credit, many of whom are out of work. 

The region’s leading business support organisation, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, is working with the British Chambers of Commerce and the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce to help local firms attract new talent with the financial support from the Government. 

If your business is looking to provide opportunities for 16 – 24 year olds, create fewer than 30 Kickstart job placements then you may apply through an intermediary such as the Chamber who will be on hand to guide you through the process and advise on next steps.

Local businesses interested in finding out more can email the Black Country Chamber of Commerce by emailing or call 0330 024 0820.


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