Challenge to retain the brightest
President of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce KARL WINGFIELD explains what the group is doing to tackle the issue of young people leaving Bucks for work
BUCKS has one of the highest levels of school leavers in the country attending university. We need to ensure that greater numbers of these graduates return to the county.
This can be achieved by promoting high growth and wealth creating industries that compete successfully in international markets, such as life sciences, high tech manufacturing, information technology and media and entertainment, all industries where Buckinghamshire is well represented already.
The county’s existing educational institutions need to offer more technical courses in these sectors to enable school leavers not attending university to develop skills that will enable them to thrive in these sectors.
Business should play its part too, offering more apprenticeships.
Impact on business of population increase
The smallest increase in the population in Buckinghamshire will be in working age groups.
It will mean that technicians are likely to be in short supply.
More resources need to be devoted to building up the base of technical skills in Buckinghamshire to enable businesses to grow.
To alleviate this strain we need to put greater effort into re-engaging parts of the working population, non-working parents and people who would otherwise retire from the work place early.
Businesses will have to embrace increasingly flexible working practices to benefit from this trend.
The largest increase in the population will be in the over 50s, with a marked rise in those over 70. This presents an opportunity for businesses to develop goods and services more relevant to this age group.