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According to The Business Desk, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has launched a new campaign to address the region's alarming productivity gap. 

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has launched a new campaign to address the region's alarming productivity gap.

Growth Through People - which gets underway on Monday 26 February - is a month-long campaign of seminars, workshops and leadership content which aims to inspire businesses to develop skills within their organisation and manage employees more effectively.

GVA per head in West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area is £19,423 - nearly £3,500 lower than the national average. At a national level, the UK's productivity is 30% lower than the USA and 35% lower than Germany.

And new figures from the GBCC's Quarterly Business Report for the fourth quarter of 2017 show that just 31% of organisations in the region offer employees formal training opportunities in leadership and/or management skills and techniques.

Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships at GBCC, said: "We are excited to be launching this campaign for the second year running.

"People are often a business's biggest cost - and asset. These latest statistics show that many organisations in Greater Birmingham are not training their employees in leadership and people management, a key component of productivity which feeds into low productivity figures for the region.

"We hope that by offering these free sessions, professionals in the region will take up the opportunity to develop these crucial skills and that, long term, businesses might be encouraged to reconsider investing in them.

"The chamber is striving to create a real, lasting change to the productivity gap in the region, and as always, to ensure our members are equipped with the best skills to thrive and grow."

GBCC will deliver 20 events over four weeks in partnership with more than 40 organisations across the region. Events will range from intimate, interactive workshops to larger, high-profile panel discussions. All Growth Through People events are free to attend.

Events include a session on the importance of Developing More Female Leaders on International Women's Day (Thursday 8 March), National Apprenticeship Week events and a 'Get On Board' event which will provide an overview of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce's new pledge to encourage greater diversity at board level.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is the official partner for the first week of the campaign, focusing on Growth Through Responsible Leadership.