Our Future Businesspeople15 March 2016
Our Chairman, entrepreneur Barry Dodd CBE, talks here about the importance of having a skilled workforce for a strong economy – something that we are working on here at the LEP.
“Few people I think would doubt that there is a strong link between skills and business productivity. Businesses that invest in training surely perform better than the rest. And yet there is still a gap. Seventy per cent of businesses interviewed by the CBI recently found students need to strengthen their business and customer awareness skills. Businesses also require an improvement in students’ personal-management skills.
The world of work is changing. Ninety per cent of businesses in our patch are small or micro with less than 10 employees. More than ever are running their own businesses and need the right skills to do so. Combine this with our ageing population. In York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding, 22 per cent of the population is over 65 – that’s five per cent above the national average. And this is set to increase. Skill shortages are already a problem in engineering and the care sector. Unless we do something, it will get worse.
The need for a workforce with the right skills is stronger than ever. We need enterprising, ambitious young people, and are working with our partners to articulate our needs. Central to our mission, we are helping connect students to business and have set up an Enterprise Adviser Program to do so. As part of this. we have employed two Enterprise Coordinators who are engaging with secondary schools, building on the Careers Guidance Project. In the East Riding, we are working in partnership with the Humber LEP. Through the new networks, we will increase opportunities for both businesses and students to succeed. In time, every young person must have access to businesspeople, who should also have easy links with their future workforce.
To help our work, we are recruiting a network of Enterprise Advisers. Some inspiring people have already come forward and we are looking for more. If you think you can help, here is some more information and our contact details. Do get in touch it would be great to hear from you.”
Barry Dodd CBE