Capital city has reasons to look forward with optimism
As we say goodbye to a successful 2015, we have every reason to be confident of Edinburgh’s economic robustness and the efforts going into shaping and developing a truly international capital city. Welcoming in the New Year we have many reasons to be optimistic for the future and a strong, talented workforce will be at the heart of economic growth. The development of our young people and our continued investment in skills has been a major contributor in the success of both Edinburgh and Scotland. As we look beyond 2016, there are no reasons to doubt this will not be the same for the future. As the Scottish Government’s ‘Developing Young Workforce’ initiative which aims to reduce youth unemployment by 40% over seven years is implemented at regional levels, we hope this investment into young people will provide huge dividends for the national and local economies. Our continued development of talent is at the heart of the city’s success and a primary reason for new investors. Not only has this year again illustrated the strength and depth of our college and universities in attracting international students, Edinburgh continues to benefit from a rich source of qualified talent from across the world. However, as we look forward, we do anticipate there could be shortages in our skilled work force. As well as supporting our young people, creating more opportunities to find employment and fulfil their potential, continued investments in transport, housing and promoting our great city are key to attracting and retaining a sustainable talent base. Reducing youth unemployment and creating a talented workforce come hand in hand. The Edinburgh Guarantee has had another successful year and is a great example where all sectors in the city work together to try and ensure that every young person in Edinburgh will leave school with the choice of a job, training or further education opportunity available to them. Government at all levels should be applauded for their support in creating these opportunities. This includes the Developing the Young Workforce Groups, one of which will be delivered by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in partnership with key players in business, education, local authorities and skills across Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian. Building stronger links between education institutions and business is essential and we should continue to build on the various successful programmes throughout the region. Essential for Scotland and our capital city in the future is the development of a young workforce and supporting those who have yet to reach their full potential. Edinburgh’s business community will remain resilient throughout any potential skills shortages in the future however investing in young people now will have a huge impact on the city’s success for generations to come.