Why Wakefield

Skills gaps, apprenticeships and Wakefield’s retail offering were key issues debated at Why Wakefield, a panel discussion staged at the MY Conference in support of Wakefield Business Week.

Creating debate around City specific issues, delegates put key questions to a panel of experts, which was made up of Andy Turner, Managing Director of First Choice Recruitment; Roger Marsh, Chairman of LEP; Tim Mee Chair of the Wakefield Manufacturing Forum and Andrew Raby, Business Development Manager of Leeds Beckett University.

Without doubt, skills dominated the discussion.

Enthusing young people and offering the knowledge and guidance to pursue a successful career were seen as key to addressing the skills gap and tackling the challenges faced by business – in particular those associated with skills development and skills research.

Hope was also on the agenda of those that attended, with many believing that this was the missing ingredient when it comes to raising aspirations, which is often limited in young people.

Wakefield as a destination for retail was also discussed. When asked whether Wakefield was a good destination for new retail businesses; the reply was ‘Why Wakefield, Why Not’. With the growing consumer buying power, new retail business was seen as a way to capitalize upon this opportunity.

It was clear that there are lots of reasons for ‘WHY Wakefield?’. Equally, like many towns and cities there is also a number of issues to be addressed and areas to be nurtured and supported, but the outlook remains positive.

Whilst success can be achieved by working in isolation it is a collaborative approach that will have the biggest impact in supporting key sectors and helping our young people flourish with a work ready attitude and a skills sets that support the growth of local business.

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