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PROGRESS21 – landmark event on Thursday

GREATER Manchester’s large, ‘in-person’, one day conference bringing together thousands of residents and businesses takes place on Thursday.

PROGRESS21, designed and produced by The Growth Company, will offer a wide-ranging programme of presentations, workshops and support in a bid to progress skills, careers and business opportunities as the city-region and its leaders look to add significant momentum to the economic recovery and make the most of 2021 and beyond.

Among many highlights, the event will include an opening address and keynote speech from the outgoing leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese that focuses on realising Greater Manchester’s global ambitions. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will also be outlining ambitions and plans for the city region’s economic development.

The ambitious conference will take place at Manchester Central this Thursday (23 September) and focus on three specific areas – careers, business and Greater Manchester’s global ambition:

PROGRESS21 Careers: a jobs fair ‘plus’, thousands of available jobs, training opportunities and a wide range of advice and support with a focus on getting people into jobs.
PROGRESS21 Business: The Greater Manchester business event, offering specialist insight and practical support for business post-pandemic recovery and growth including generating sales, managing cash-flow and raising finance, creating and leading a high-performance workforce, digital transformation and understanding Net Zero.
PROGRESS21 Global: The event that brings Greater Manchester together, working to promote the city-region on the global stage to attract investors and visitors.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “PROGRESS21 is a timely opportunity for Greater Manchester to come together and showcase our ambitions to become a world-leading city-region with a drive to become carbon net zero, innovate in the digital sector, and accelerate our economic growth as the region recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This growth must be sustainable and inclusive, which is why PROGRESS21 Business is designed to help small and medium enterprises across our region recover and grow, while PROGRESS21 Careers will help those businesses recruit talent that they can then nurture and grow.”

Mark Hughes, Growth Company CEO, said, “As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, employment, business growth and securing global opportunities will play a key role in the green and inclusive recovery of our city region. PROGRESS21 is our chance to come together and build momentum and support individuals, businesses and the city-region to recover and then start to thrive.

“This event is only possible thanks to us working together across the private, public and third sectors. This includes business representative organisations such as CBI, FSB, Chamber and IOD, the Mayor and GMP LEP, government departments including DWP, BEIS and DIT along with support organisations such as Citizens Advice and of course the many individual employers and freelancers.”

Sir Richard Leese, outgoing leader of Manchester City Council, said: “PROGRESS21 is a leading example of how a city like Manchester – recently named one of the best cities in the world by Time Out magazine – is continuing to push the envelope and hasten efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Bringing together all the right people who have an integral role to play in helping Greater Manchester to expand its global potential and accelerate its economic growth, PROGRESS21 will be a fantastic opportunity to seize the moment and set the tone for what we can and will achieve as city-region in the years to come.”

PROGRESS21 will include a series of expert seminars, thought-provoking presentations, practical workshops and exhibitions.

Keynote speakers include Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business; Janine Smith, Director of Business Growth at GC Business Growth Hub; Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Lou Cordwell, Chair of GM LEP. You can find the full schedule and register to attend here.

PROGRESS21 is being carefully planned in line with government guidelines to maximise COVID-19 safety. You can view the COVID-19 Policy Statement here.

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