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Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter.

This week, we're focusing on the new Disability Confident and CIPD manager's guide and Tourism South East's Beautiful South Tourism Awards.

We're also highlighting The Business Barometer podcast series, the Innovate UK Women in Innovation competition, and South and Vale's community event about our future plans.

There are lots more opportunities, events and resources to get stuck into this week, but as always, if you'd like to suggest content for the SVBS newsletter, please get in touch with us.

- South and Vale's Economic Development team
Check out the new Disability Confident and CIPD manager’s guide

Disability Confident and the CIPD have produced a practical guide for line managers on recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition.

The guide aims to support managers and anyone who leads another individual or team – from those working in large organisations, to owners or managers of small firms. It is also a useful resource for HR professionals or anyone with an interest in the management of people with a disability or long-term health condition.

The guidance aims to support line managers in creating an inclusive working environment. It covers a range of topics, including legal responsibilities, making adjustments, recruiting and retaining disabled talent, and managing performance and development.

Read the guide and check out The Disability Confident scheme on the Government's website.
Apply for the Beautiful South Tourism Awards

The Beautiful South Tourism Awards are now open for applications, and we're encouraging businesses in South and Vale to get involved.

The awards categories are as follows:
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drink
  • Wedding and business venues
  • Unsung heroes
  • Dog-friendly
  • New business
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Events
  • Experiences
  • Visitor information
  • Attractions
  • Future of Hospitality
  • International Tourism
If you would like the awards team to help with your entry, they will be running a series of online workshops.

The deadline for entries is Sunday 23 June. Apply via the Tourism South East website.
Listen to The Business Barometer podcast series

According to last year’s Open University Business Barometer report, conducted in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), three in four employers struggle to access the skills they need.

These skills shortages are having a huge impact on organisations, affecting their ability to recruit, grow, innovate and succeed.

The Open University recently ran a series of podcasts, discussing issues arising out of the Business Barometer findings and what employers can and are doing to address skills gaps.

The podcasts focus on the following topics:
  • How SMEs can solve skills shortages
  • The importance of financial wellbeing in the workplace
  • Local skills for local people
  • The role of career changers
  • Solving the people and work challenge
Watch the podcasts on The Open University's website.
Innovate UK Women in Innovation 2024/25

Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme was launched in 2016 to address underrepresentation of women in business innovation, and to encourage more of them to apply to Innovate UK’s funding opportunities.

Since its inception, the programme:
  • Has awarded over £10 million to over 200 remarkable women to enable them to develop and grow their businesses, whilst elevating them as relatable role models to inspire the next generation of women innovators

  • Has created a vibrant community of over 9,500 women business leaders, ambassadors and allies

  • Has provided opportunities for women innovators to work in partnership with many brilliant organisations and networks and to learn from one another

  • Has amplified Innovate UK's reach and impact in their mission to foster a more gender-diverse business innovation ecosystem in the UK
Applications for Innovate UK Women in Innovation 2024/25 will open on 13 May.

Find out more on the Innovate UK website.
Tell us your thoughts on our future plans

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are hosting a community event about our future plans.

Thursday 18 April
1pm - 3pm
Didcot Civic Hall

We are setting our strategic visions, ambitions and priorities for the councils, which will guide how we provide all of our services over the next four years.

We have set out our initial ideas on what direction to take our future plans in for 2024- 2028. The aim is now to open up a conversation with local businesses to find out what you think of our proposed ideas and themes. It’s important to get involved as this will drive how we make decisions, spend money and direct everything we do over the next four years.

We will provide an overview of our proposed ideas and themes, but the session is mostly an opportunity for you to ask questions and provide feedback. There will be exhibition boards for you to view, with council officers on hand to answer any questions.

Tea and coffee will be provided from 12.30pm until 1pm, before the event starts.

Register for the event on our website.

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