Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch County, hosted the first of her Business Leaders’ events on Friday (22 September).

Some 40 owners and managers attended the working lunch event at Osprey House, part of Heart of Worcestershire College, from 12pm to 2pm, and were put to work by Rachel to help her understand what businesses in Redditch needed from her, particularly to help fill the skills gap.

And in conjunction with Simon Hyde, Chief Executive Officer at Faun Zoeller, based in Redditch, Rachel also took the opportunity to launch her Business Mentors’ scheme, an exciting new project with the aim of getting together high-flying business people who have something to give, with anyone who wants to get into the world of business but needs a bit of a head start.

Rachel said: “Simon is an inspirational character in the world of business, because by his own admission he has risen from challenging youngster to the CEO of a multi-million pound company. And this is just the type of person I want to encourage to be a mentor, because he is living proof that if you have ambition, you can make it in the world of business.

“I was delighted that 16 people signed up to be mentors, and I will now be drawing up a plan to take my ideas forward.”

The meeting was the first opportunity for many of the business bosses to meet with the new MP, and she pledged to help the business community as much as she could in the coming months and years.

Rachel added: “There are many businesses covering a wide platform of sectors in Redditch, and many seem to be booming although I recognise the degree of uncertainty there has been recently with Brexit looming.

“However I am confident that, with support, the business community in Redditch has a bright future and I look forward to further meetings and the chance to develop my ideas and visit as many businesses as possible in Redditch and surrounding areas within the coming months.”