I normally keep my posts quite generalised, focussing on my own writing journey or employability in general but with some great news in my wonderful home City of Hull today, I felt compelled to be a little more specific for a change.
I’ve lived in Hull all my life and honestly couldn’t imagine ever living anywhere else. It is a beautiful City with a rich history and a business and education community that I have come to know and love for it’s “Can Do” attitude. Whilst some of us have felt the rumblings of something great coming for quite some time, to the outside world and to those doubters within our community, Hull has been hovering around the wrong end of just about every league table going and has been seen quite negatively in the media.
Things are on the up though. We have a Building Schools for the Future programme which is changing the face of our many and diverse communities as well as the educational chances of the students. Improvements in health care and housing are just as evident. Two big pieces of news though are real game changers for the City of Hull. In November, Hull was announced as UK City of Culture 2017, something that came as a bit of a shock to those outside our great City who simply don’t yet appreciate what Hull has to offer.
Today’s news that Siemens UK have formally signed contracts which will see them, their partners and immediate supply chain invest £310m in our area feels to many to be the icing on the cake in turning round Hull’s fortunes. With a pledge of 1000 jobs at Siemens alone, it’s certainly going to have an impact on our region’s employment figures and will firmly position the Humber as the UK’s Energy Estuary.
With all this great news, with the construction it will bring and with the cultural events planned it’s easy to think that Hull’s prayers have been answered. The truth is though, the hard work is yet to come and no-one is able to rest on their laurels. An increase in jobs doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be filled by local people. With a shortage of the necessary skills, it’s likely that those with the expertise needed will follow the jobs – at least in the short to medium term.
With so much focus now on Hull, it has never been more important for our young people to understand their employability skills and how they translate into the world of work. There is a lot we can do to support young people, whether we are a parent, a teacher or are in business. It’s important that we celebrate and encourage our young people – not everyone will want to be an engineer or a performer but with such investment into our City, there will be opportunities for everyone to play their part, so much so that the list is endless. The thing is though, competition will be fierce so they will have to make sure they stand out from the crowd.
I’m sure there will still be many doubters, but there are many more believers in Hull and with their support, we can help to ensure that our young people are prepared for a much brighter future, a future they deserve but must equally work for.