The first half of 2018 has been a busy one across the Shaping family. Here’s a quick roundup of some of what’s been going on since the last major update at the Shaping Conference in January.
Our Business & Enterprise team have expanded the Business Support Bank. Now into it’s second year, the Bank has already delivered nearly 100 hours of free mentoring to small businesses in Portsmouth. The team is recruiting new mentors and expanding the offer to as many new applicants as possible. They are also working on two new project pilots; supporting onward career options for service leavers alongside the Career Transition Partnership, and supporting small businesses looking to raise money through crowdfunding, in partnership with the Crowdfunder platform.
Portsmouth Ambassadors continues to grow, with Ambassador numbers growing 35% since September. Significant progress is being made on the Young Ambassadors project, which should be ready for a trial run from the next Academic Year. The Ambassadors have also started having a more visible presence at events around the City, attending the Rural & Seaside Show, and with planned presences at the Kite Festival, Victorious, and the Great South Run!
Under the Roadmap to a Career banner, we ran a very successful bus-tour of the City for National Apprenticeships Week, with a team of Apprenticeship Ambassadors touring schools and businesses around the City, promoting the opportunities that Apprenticeships can offer. We have recruited a new volunteer management team, who after a handover will be devoting the time and expertise to really get this ambitious project moving forward. Our Schools Support Programme, which provides business buddies to school senior management teams, has had it’s second wave roll-out. We now have business buddies paired up with 10 schools, and a further 7 in the pipeline.
With the creation of the new Destination Steering Group, Shaping continues to work on two specific projects in this arena. The first working with the International Port and other partners to look at potential increases in revenue from Cruise Ship tourism. The second, helping create and run a Portsmouth Convention Bureau to promote and increase revenue from business conventions, room hire, and corporate hospitality offerings.