Last Friday I chaired a meeting of local businesses at the Hastings Centre, arranged by Barclays, to explore what else Government could be doing to help them thrive.
My motive is plain: thriving businesses employ more people and pay better wages.
I want to see businesses doing well and new ones moving in, so unemployment in Hastings continues to fall.
Sometimes at so-called ‘round table’ discussions it can be difficult to find a theme, because different attendees have different experiences to report. But this time, everyone raised the same issue: recruitment. They can’t get the people for the jobs that they have to offer. Some of the jobs were in professional services, others were in factories. A wide range of qualifications were needed. But there was a general consensus that university is not for everyone and more should be done to make young people aware of choices that are out there and available in their town.
I agree. I think we should do that while our young people are still at school. So I will be hosting my first careers fair soon, in direct response to this. We need to take the opportunities to the school leavers so that they can start planning their future. Because there are opportunities out there and I want to help everyone to seize them.
Also well done Fairlight Gardening Club for a wonderful summer show last Saturday. I was given the honour of presenting the awards at this year’s Fairlight Flower and Vegetable Competition. I was inspired by the competition. There was so much variety on show and huge amount of talent displayed. It was tremendous and I was honoured to present the awards.