I feel really blessed to be one of those people who gets to experience some totally amazing things as part of my job.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be part of a brilliant roundtable, organised with a lovely client, Gradvert.
The event brought together senior business leaders from across the North East to talk about how they plan to address the skills needs of their company over the coming months and years, in the context of changing landscapes, regionally and nationally, as a result of Brexit and the collapse of devolution plans.
One of the key areas of focus in the discussion was how we can ensure our young people are hungry and passionate enough to shine in work, but most importantly, to do so in the North East.
In that weird way that all of our bits of work connect back together, this week I have seen some really inspiring examples of organisations doing their bit to celebrate talent.
On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending Gentoo’s Genfactor awards, which are organised to showcase some of the brightest young talent in Sunderland. And the following evening, I was lucky enough to attend the Sunderland 2021 partnership launch event, which was held in the city’s beautiful Ryhope Engine Museum.
Both events were huge celebrations of the incredibly talented young people that we have in the North East. These young people will leave education, and not only require jobs, but also a creative, exciting and enticing place to live and learn.
The North East genuinely is a hotbed of talent, and home to some fantastic businesses too. The very exciting thing we are seeing now is that culture is moving at a pace to ensure that by the time many of our young people leave school, there will be no better place to stay and learn, and live, and work.
We work on a number of projects that are linked to the development of this region, whether it is Invest North East England, the investment gate way to the region; or the Sunderland Business Partnership, which is bringing together companies from across the city and beyond to ensure that Sunderland is realising its potential; or Carillion, which is doing its bit to improve infrastructure creating a better physical space.
The level of investment in the region at the moment is staggering. Not just at an infrastructure level, but in terms of the investment going in to creating a bright and engaging culture that our young people will want to be part of.
The last week has been a real eye-opener, seeing such talented young people showcase their talent. What is fantastic is that – through initiatives like the Great North Exhibition, which the region was lucky enough to secure but a few weeks ago, and Sunderland’s City of Culture Bid – my home city, and the North East is increasingly falling under a national spotlight that will provide a stage for the next generation to shine.