I am contacting you with some exciting news about an event that the Portland Economic Vision Board are setting up to give local businesses the opportunity to engage with the future workforce.
Most of you will have seen the Portland Economic Vision and Plan, which sets out some clear objectives for the economic growth, and future success of Portland. One of these strategic objectives is “Supporting the delivery of an appropriately skilled, motivated and productive workforce to drive economic growth” and this really does underpin everything else.
We all know that there has been demand from businesses for increased engagement and action by educational establishments in order to address the problems being experienced in respect of workforce needs. We also know that sadly, Portland has some very longstanding issues with deprivation, skills and employment. This is despite many fabulous, and thriving, business and employment opportunities.
I don’t believe that the schoolchildren, or their families, in Portland are aware of the range of vibrant and exciting businesses; from small entrepreneurial owner managed to large national, or even international, organisations. It is vital that we work alongside IPACA, as the island’s only secondary school, to ensure that all of Portland’s young people are aware of the opportunities available to them as well as the skills and attributes that employers require. Most importantly, as businesses we need to help inspire them and to showcase the options available for their future employment.
The Portland Economic Vision Board and partners have agreed to coordinate a careers fair at the main IPACA campus on Thursday 13th July 2017. The school has asked for a range of employers to demonstrate the breadth of activity that happens locally and I would welcome support.
The event will run from 13:00 – 16:30. It will be attended by all Year 9s and Year 10s at the school and we are hoping to encourage parents to part of the event too. Further details will be provided in due course. Attendance at the event is obviously free, the Council are also supporting and I have discussed with some people already keen to attend, whether there may be value in them coordinating their attendance to showcase pockets of activity ie the arts or hospitality services.
The Portland Economic Vision Board are looking to make this event the start of stronger linkages between employers and education on Portland. I am happy to talk with anyone who would like to know more or be more involved with the Board’s work, especially in this skills area.
In the meantime, if your organisation or company can support this event, I would appreciate it if you could confirm your attendance with Mark Taylor from the Dorset Councils’ Partnership using the contact details below.
T: 01305 838505
Chair, Portland Economic Vision Board