A large-scale ‘in-person’, one-day conference has been confirmed to go ahead at Manchester Central on Thursday 24 June – the first of its kind for Greater Manchester since the nation went into lockdown more than 14 months ago.

PROGRESS21, is one day, three events, centered on careers, businesses and Greater Manchester’s global ambition, delivered by the Growth Company with a wide range of partner organisations.

The events will see thousands of Greater Manchester businesses, support organisations, and individuals, safely re-connect in person. The three events will offer a wide-ranging programme of presentations, workshops and support to add significant momentum to the economic recovery of the city-region.

The three events, which attendees must register for individually, are:

  • PROGRESS21 Careers: The Greater Manchester jobs and careers conference, matching employers, employees and support organisations, with a focus on getting people into jobs and with an offer of thousands of job vacancies available on the day
  • PROGRESS21 Business: The Greater Manchester business conference, offering insight and support on key issues including generating sales, managing cash-flow and raising finance, creating and leading a high performance workforce, digital transformation and understanding Net Zero, as we move towards recovery and growth
  • PROGRESS21 Global: The event that brings Greater Manchester together, to get behind showcasing the city-region on a global stage, and attracting investors and visitors

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

Mark Hughes, CEO of the Growth Company, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be delivering these three events at PROGRESS21 through an immense private-public and third sector partnership – too many to individually call out but including the Mayor and GM LEP, business representative organisations such as CBI, FSB, the Chamber of Commerce and IOD, and government departments such as DWP, BEIS and DIT, along with supporting organisations such as Citizens Advice and many individual employers.

“Employment, business growth and securing global opportunities are all vital to the recovery and future success of our city-region. By coming together again in a safe environment we can continue to build momentum and support individuals, businesses and our city-region on the whole, to recover and to thrive.

“We believe PROGRESS21 will play a key role in accelerating and broadening momentum across Greater Manchester in 2021 and beyond. I encourage you to get involved, as attendees, speakers, exhibitors or sponsors, for us to make sure this is a collective Greater Manchester success.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This event is a brilliant opportunity for individuals to progress their career prospects, businesses to unlock potential for growth, and Greater Manchester to expand its global potential. PROGRESS21 will 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.

“Across three main themes – Career, Business and Global – this practical event will allow us to address the key issues facing our region, explore future skills to help kickstart careers, build insight into growing local businesses, and position Greater Manchester on the global stage to attract visitors and investors.”

Lou Cordwell, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said: “This event comes at a crucial time for Greater Manchester’s business community and people at every stage of their careers, whether they are seeking skills to join the employment market for the first time or considering their options as we recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“At the heart of the Economic Vision for Greater Manchester is a commitment to innovation, green growth and tackling inequalities. PROGRESS21 can provide an invaluable platform to explore how those commitments can support Greater Manchester in playing a vital part in leading UK economic growth and recovery, and building trade links locally, nationally and internationally.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “PROGRESS21 is a leading example of how we’re continuing to push the envelope in Manchester, as our city-region accelerates efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. It will be more than a year since such a large-scale gathering has taken place here; a historic opportunity to seize the moment and set the right tone as we collectively convey the city’s global ambition and opportunities to progress for the benefit of all our residents, businesses and communities.”

PROGRESS21 is free to attend and will include a series of expert seminars, thought-provoking presentations, practical workshops and exhibitions.  Anyone interested in registering their interest for a PROGRESS21 event can do so on the website. The full schedule and speaker line-up will be announced over the coming days.

To register your interest or find out more, visit the PROGRESS21 website. If you are a business interested in exhibiting at PROGRESS21 Business, or an employer or skills provider interested in exhibiting at PROGRESS21 Careers, email the team at info@growthco.uk.