Local MP Maria Miller welcomed Government Minister Mims Davies MP to the Basingstoke Business and Enterprise Forum.

The Basingstoke Business & Enterprise Forum(BBEF) is an organisation providing the opportunity for businesses to meet, build rapport and give a viewpoint to their MP Maria Miller and Government Ministers. Members include FTSE 100 companies, SMEs and established local businesses.

Eastleigh MP Mims Davies was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions this year following roles in the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Welsh Office.

Mims addressed the forum, hosted at Worting House Basingstoke,  and then answered questions from attendees. She spoke about the need for creating a flexible working environment enabling more people with caring responsibilities to enter the workforce and for enabling people who have few academic qualifications to move into work. She highlighted the importance of employers looking at a wide range of measures which can help fill vacancies such as flexible working.

Mims Commented; “I was delighted to join Maria and the excellent mix of employers, small businesses and training providers as we discussed the thriving labour market in Basingstoke and what skills and support Government, educators and colleges can do make sure we have an agile workforce fit for the future. 

We discussed flexibility, career changes and Brexit - unsurprisingly - challenges and the opportunities for us. It was a great chance to hear more from the Hampshire business community directly about the importance of clarity and certainty in all sectors by getting Brexit done.”

Maria commented; “It was wonderful to welcome Mims to Basingstoke. In her role with the Department of Work and pensions she is very aware of the challenges faced in particular by those with caring responsibilities who want to work. In Basingstoke we have a hidden pool of labour-women in particular who wish to re-enter the workplace .We have to be agile with ideas in terms of making sure we encourage employers to offer the right working environment for women and which will also increase productivity and profitability.   

The BBEF provides an important platform where employers can raise key concerns and make sure they are heard in Westminster. Basingstoke is a thriving economy and is one of the top ten employment centres in the South East.  ”