My Friends in the North is a podcast from entrepreneur Sarah Waddington in which she interviews some of the North’s most influential organisational and community leaders.

In a one-off series of five interviews, Sarah will be sticking to one theme and talking to members of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group about what support is available in the region to help businesses.

In this third episode she speaks to Michelle Rainbow, skills director at the North East LEP* and the Group’s people and employment lead, about:

  • What the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group is doing to help keep people in employment.
  • Whether it’s possible to get a true handle on the level of unemployment in the North East at the moment.
  • The latest Government measures to support the business community and whether regional business owners are taking these up.
  • The Group’s plans to redeploy staff with transferable skills.
  • Where employers and employees in the region can go for help and advice right now.
  • What success looks like for the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group and its partners.
  • The existing Skills programme of activity at the North East LEP.
  • What gives Michelle confidence that when the time comes, the North East will be ready to bounce back.