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

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOCUS -

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.



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