A presentation skills coach learned new ways to do business thanks to the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) . By Sara Williams

With significant experience of running a business, Upfront Presenting owner, Rae Gaukroger, provides training and coaching to businesses that need to build confidence and credibility at a personal level so when Covid hit, her business model and skillset required significant change to ensure survival.

Working with enterprise and business support agency NBSL’s latest skills programme, Better Business Skills, created in conjunction with and funded by the NTCA, a tailored programme was created to develop and refresh her skills. Rae was able to develop a new plan of action and look at ways of connecting with her client base in different ways – identifying new methods of virtual delivery thanks to the peer group sessions following each workshop.

With sales and pitching techniques, marketing and market research all under the spotlight, Rae has been able to refresh her skills and revitalise new ways of delivery – swiftly adapting her delivery model to suit the new needs of her customer base.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn, a great opportunity to connect with other people and mix with likeminded people in the region. Even if you’ve run a business, there are always different ways of doing things better,” Rae said.

Better Business Skills has been devised and developed by NBSL in conjunction with the NTCA to help re-invigorate businesses to confidently develop their abilities and skillset in business. Exclusively available to businesses – and individuals – across Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Tyneside & Northumberland, each participant receives tailored plan following analysis of the business and skills needs.

The plan identifies opportunities and challenges prior to attending any sessions. Additional support sessions through peer groups are also developed to help best practice and an opportunity to get to know like-minded businesses for continued support. To access a place on this North of Tyne funded skills scheme, log on to www.nbsl.org.uk/better-business-skills.

The NTCA is a combined authority with an elected mayor that was created in November 2018, when Parliament signed off on a £600 million devolution deal bringing Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils together in an unprecedented transfer of power and investment from Westminster to the North East. It is tasked with initiating projects to boost growth, create jobs, and create a more green, inclusive economy.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll was elected on a promise to support communities in the North of Tyne to create and build wealth, then keep that wealth in the region.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll in an allotment

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll