Creating 100,000 jobs and getting young people into work
How Birmingham can help create 100,000 jobs and key ways to get young people into work were the headline topics at the Be Birmingham summit, Succeeding Economically and Social Mobility, on Wednesday 16th November.
Chaired by the Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart, the summit was attended by over 150 delegates from the public, private, voluntary, faith and community sectors.
The city’s regeneration chief, Mark Barrow, revealed the details behind the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) commitment to creating 100,000 private sector jobs across the LEP area by 2020 in his keynote speech at the summit, held at the Saffron Centre in Highgate.
Mr Barrow, the strategic director of development at Birmingham City Council, spoke about how the LEP will transform the regional economy by drawing in £8.7 billion of investment, with projected benefits over the next 25 years far higher than previously announced, boosted by private sector entrepreneurs attracted to Birmingham by the planned city centre enterprise zone.
“In Birmingham we are determined to put the city at the forefront of inward investment and growth, creating jobs, prosperity and a worldwide reputation.
“The city council and the LEP board are committed to focusing on a small number of key priorities that will be bold and game changing. These will be achieved through the combined effort and resources of the business community, the public and voluntary sectors.”
Another speaker was Talisha Johnson, aged 18, from Great Barr, a budding writer and graduate of Envision, a national education charity that runs programmes for young people in citizenship education, sustainable development and the local community.
Talisha told delegates that society as a whole needs to invest more time into young people. She said:
“It’s the lack of time that makes so many young people feel ignored, hence why some of them feel that negative behaviour is the only way to gain some form of attention.
“There needs to be more positive press and media about young people, generating more positive role models and influences for young people to look up to and aspire to. I would like to encourage delegates to get involved with young people and see how they can invest and help build towards their future. It’s not about saving the world, but even if they can help make a change to one young person’s life then it’s still worth the effort.”
Jonnie Turpie MBE, director of digital media at Maverick Television and board member of Creative England, talked about Birmingham as a creative city and the opportunities for Birmingham’s creative talent.
He said: “Creative industries comprise 10.1 per cent of all regional employment. This is not marginal – it is core to the economy.”
Delegates also took part in debate to help shape strategy, focusing on improving skills, young people and employment, the growth agenda and social enterprise. The theme of social mobility – the ability of people to improve the quality of their lives – ran through all the debates.
Jackie Mould, director of Be Birmingham, said:
“Succeeding Economically is one of the key strategic outcomes in Birmingham’s sustainable community strategy, Vision 2026. At the summit we started to make big strides towards achieving that.”
Copies of the presentations from the summit are available to download below.
Mark Barrow, strategic director of development, Birmingham City Council:
Talisha Johnson, Envision leadership programme graduate:
Ray Walker, executive director, Birmingham Metropolitan College:
Professor Upkar Pardesi, chairman, MyEducation:
Mark Hart, professor of small business and entrepreneurship, Aston Business School: