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Transfer StationMore than 100 businesses from the construction, waste and maintenance industries attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Chatham hosted by Medway Council.

Councillor Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council, said “It was great to see such a big turnout to the second Meet the Buyer event with local Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) well represented. I had lots of positive conversations with suppliers pleased at the open and innovative approach we are taking. I believe Medway Council is starting to position itself at the forefront of public sector procurement. ”

Workshops on how to fill out tender documents, details about the online tendering process and advice from experts gave businesses an insight into improving opportunities to win council work.

Neville Gaunt, North Kent Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for Kent & Medway said: “It is great to see Medway Council changing the environment for SME procurement. I hope the local business community responds well to the opportunity it gives them. The FSB fully supports simple and creative thinking to get best value to all. I was particularly impressed that Medway has set itself a target for contracting with SMEs which is double the Prime Minister’s target for Government Departments.”

A number of the organisations who currently contract with the council, and who are looking for suppliers, attended including waste contractors Veolia, highways company Volker and building maintenance business Medway Norse.

Andrew Cottrell a Manager with the Leadbitter Group who have been contracted to build the new £11million Abbey Court Special Educational Need school said: “This was a brilliant event where we received lots of contacts with local suppliers. We applaud Medway Council in seeking to provide opportunities for Medway businesses and are impressed at their target to spend 50 per cent of their contracts with SMEs.”

Medway Council is also committed to the development of apprenticeship opportunities with local firms with a range of schemes and offers a £2,000 subsidy to qualified employers.

Kerry Linley, Account Manager with apprentice specialists TrAC, said: “This is easily the best meet the buyer event we have attended. Medway Council clearly mean business when it comes to apprentices and we were very impressed by the target in their procurement strategy that for every £1 million contract suppliers must provide at least one apprentice. We look forward to working with Medway to provide young people opportunities across the Borough and Kent.”

Job fair 1More than 2,000 people attended the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair in the Pentagon Centre in Chatham which was organised by Medway Council and Jobcentre Plus.

Fifteen hundred job opportunities were advertised by employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent.

Visitors were able to complete and hand in job applications, and there was also advice from a range of agencies about training, apprenticeships and developing the skills to help people back into work or find a new career. Read More

ApprenticeshipA number of local businesses looking to recruit new staff will be setting up shop at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham this week for the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair 2013.

The event, organised by Medway Council and Job Centre Plus, takes place from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, 26 September on the first floor of the shopping mall.

It builds on a highly successful jobs fair held last year attended by more than 1,700 jobseekers resulting in 100 jobs being secured and many others helped to get their career ambitions on track.

A number of local employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent will have stands as well as employment support agencies, offering advice on training and skills to help people back into work or find a new career.

That includes the council backed Employ Medway service, based in High Street. Chatham which offers courses and one-to-one support for people who have been unemployed for some time.

Jobcentre Plus will be on hand to provide information on how both employers and jobseekers can benefit from the Wage Incentive scheme, work trials and work experience. Read More

CF Images 185One of the county’s biggest business events will be looking to the future when it takes over the Historic Dockyard in Chatham next week.

The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2013 is being held on Wednesday, 10 July with more than 60 firms and organisations taking part. It has been organised by Medway Council and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with the support of Best Business Events.

At the heart of the exhibition will be an apprenticeship zone with apprentices from many of Medway and Kent’s major firms showing off the skills they have learned as they begin their careers in engineering or manufacturing. More

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith visited Auto22 garage, Gravesend at the end of last month.

Launched by the young people’s catch22 charity, the Auto22 garage is a social enterprise that offers servicing and repairs for cars and light vans, providing work experience, training and apprenticeships for young people to learn mechanics.

The council has been working with Auto22 and has created employment at the Brookvale Depot for George Burman, aged 19, as an apprentice mechanic. George has been on a learning programme with Auto22 for one year and recently completed a four week work experience trial at the Brookvale Depot. More

Whittingham family plaque unveiling

Crest Presentation at the Steam Packet

Medway Queen Visitors Centre Vernon Stratford

Starboard paddle box – Richard Halton

Medway Queen 2 by Harley Crossley

The paddle steamer, Medway Queen, was built in 1924 for the New Medway Steam Packet Co. Ltd. She worked on the Thames estuary between the Medway towns and Southend-on-Sea with occasional forays elsewhere. In 1937 and 1953 she attended the Coronation Reviews at Spithead and during WWII she was used by the Royal Navy as a minesweeper. Her principal claim to fame is the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940 when Medway Queen and her crew made seven return trips and brought back 7000 British and French troops. After the war the ship returned to her old route and worked there until maintenance costs and falling revenues forced withdrawal in 1963. More

Plans to create one of the country’s first University Technical Colleges (UTC) in Medway have won the backing of businesses and employers across Kent and Medway. A bid for a UTC specialising in construction and engineering More

An event to help businesses in Medway create jobs and tackle unemployment is being held next week.

The conference, which will take place at the Corn Exchange, Rochester on Thursday, 16 February, is aimed at letting local businesses know about the range of free employment services on offer to them. More

Two ex apprentices turned entrepreneurs are the latest business owners to take a Medway apprentice under their wing as part of the 100 in 100 apprenticeship campaign. More

The challenge to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days is taking to the road next week. More

The mission to create 100 apprenticeships in Medway in 100 days has begun. The Medway 100 in 100 apprenticeship challenge launched on Thursday, 19 May, and has been championed by private training providers, Mid Kent College and Medway businesses. More

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