A new study, conducted by Rise, Calderdale College’s service for employers, which interviewed over 100 local businesses, has revealed a positive outlook for the region. The report has highlighted a confidence boost among the local Calderdale businesses despite the report revealing that 80% of them have been impacted by COVID-19.

Rise’s research also identified that the wealth of micro companies and sole traders in the Calderdale area are those that remain the most confident about the future, regardless of the current economic climate, with 74% and 45% predicting growth respectively.

The study revealed just how forward-thinking these Calderdale businesses are; of those businesses which took part, 23% have seen a change in demand for skills as a result of COVID-19, with a quarter (26%) already looking to upskill team members to meet this changed demand and 84% identifying business resilience is vital over the next 12 months.

Ebrahim Dockrat, Director of Commercial Services and Partnerships at Calderdale College, said: “It’s brilliant to see that business confidence has remained high in the Calderdale area over the recent months. Businesses have been challenged with overcoming global economic adversity for nearly three quarters of 2020. Yet, despite this, the Calderdale business community continues to remain positive and focused on upskilling their workforce.

“We’re also encouraged to have found the majority of businesses believe that Calderdale is a great place to do business and has a resilient and supportive business community, a true testament to our region.”

The expert team at Rise are on hand to help support businesses thrive in Calderdale and give you access to a wide range of training, skills and business development opportunities. The research also identified the biggest challenges that businesses are currently facing, but as a team we have an abundance of knowledge on support packages and funding options available to support local employers on their journey to building business resilience and upskilling their workforce.”

The research revealed those areas in which businesses are most seeking support, including access to skills funding (38%), access to training support (30%) and access to new talent (24%).

Ebrahim Dockrat added: ‘In spite of those challenges currently facing businesses, there’s real opportunity here. We were encouraged to see in our research that 30% of Calderdale businesses were interested in developing their team’s skills through training. It’s more important now than ever that businesses stay resilient, and plan for the future. It’s clear that Calderdale businesses are doing exactly that.

“Businesses still remain cautious, but are now looking at ways to strengthen their workforces and develop skills and expertise. That’s where services like Rise offer so much value. We are working hand in hand with companies across Calderdale and the Leeds City Region to offer support, training and funding, all of which are proving vital services as businesses embark on the road to economic recovery in Calderdale and beyond.”

The full findings of The Calderdale Confidence Index report conducted and compiled by Rise at Calderdale College are available to view via: https://bit.ly/3nDkNJu