London Chamber announces new chief executive as businesses face ‘critical time’

London Chamber announces new chief executive as businesses face ‘critical time’

A senior international affairs specialist is to become the new chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI), as the capital’s business community prepares to adjust to a new trading landscape after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Richard Burge is to move from his position as senior adviser on diplomatic engagement for the City of London Corporation, having previously been CEO of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and before that holding the same post with a foreign office agency facilitating dialogue between nations on global issues.

Burge has worked in over 60 countries and also been director general of the Zoological Society of London and CEO of the Countryside Alliance. He will succeed David Frost, who was released by the LCCI in July to rejoin Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for whom he’d worked when he was foreign secretary, on the Brexit negotiations having only started the LCCI job in April.

He describes himself as “excited to be joining LCCI at a critical time for London and UK business” and that he hopes his experience working both in London and overseas will “further LCCI’s renowned reputation for representing the interests of London both domestically and internationally”. He will take up his post on 3 February. The LCCI has around 2,000 members, ranging from large corporations to small and medium-sized concerns.

News of Burge’s appointment comes as a survey for the LCCI has found that 59 per cent of London employers had difficulty recruiting new staff they were looking for during the final quarter of 2019. This followed a majority saying during the third quarter that they expected to increase the size of their workforces before the end of the year.

The results of the survey of 500 businesses of various sizes, the latest in the quarterly Capital 500 series conducted for the LCCI by Savanta ComRes, also show that 58 per cent of London “business decision-makers” say they are operating at less than full capacity and that the most difficult types of worker to recruit are those in skilled manual and technical fields.

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1 Comment

  1. Philip Virgo says:

    London core problem is the lack of LOCAL access to vocational education and training. We may have world class Universities but how do the youngsters of today acquire the equivalent of a BTEC or HNC. There are pockets of excellence – I am thinking of Barking and Dagenham or Newham College (and its Digital Skills and Fashion Operations) but for too many of London’s youngsters the journey across gang boundaries to employers and colleges who offer apprenticeships (whether in catering, construction, customer services or in fashionable digital, high tech and multi-media) is life threatening.

    Local access, rather than importing skills from abroad, should be the priority for the London Chamber of Commerce.

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