Sherrards, along with 20 other professional service firms and the St Albans City Chamber and Council, formed the ‘City of Expertise’ group in 2013 to showcase St Albans as a thriving business hub. Made up of law firms, chartered surveyors/infrastructure, accountants and financial services firms, the City of Expertise group recognises and promotes the huge amount of talent and experience available to businesses in the area.
St Albans is home to around 80 chartered accountancy firms, 50 law firms, many firms of chartered surveyors and banks. It has been named in the top 10 areas for professional services employment in England.
Recently the group commissioned a research report called ‘Barriers to Growth’. According, to the report, business is thriving in the St Albans area and growth expectations, productivity targets and plans to enter new markets are all tracking well ahead of many parts of Britain. However, there are some serious obstacles to growth. The report found that difficulty in recruiting skilled staff is by far the biggest barrier to growth, ahead of political uncertainty, regulatory change and red tape. Surprisingly, the availability and cost of suitable commercial premises fell into fourth place.
Picking up on the key themes that arose from the report, the first in a series of blogs to come focuses on ‘Recruitment & Retention – todays greatest challenge’.