Siemens effect paying off in Hull and East Riding – The Yorkshire Post says

EVEN THOUGH Hull and East Yorkshire remain in devolution limbo, their area was enjoying a resurgence thanks to the dynamism of political and business leaders before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

The arrival of the Siemens wind turbine factory has been a game-changer for Hull and East Yorkshire. Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

A more constructive and collaborative approach secured the presence of offshore wind turbine manufacturer Siemens. Hull was also the UK’s City of Culture in 2017, a landmark celebration, while prospects for East Yorkshire’s caravan industry look better – in part due to ‘‘staycations’’.

But much more needs to be done if the area is to have sufficient jobs – and career opportunities – for young people leaving school and college with enhanced qualifications so they don’t have to leave the area, as others did in the past, to find work and pursue their dreams.

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And, as such, it is commendable that a £15m a year jobs and training plan to address this issue is at the heart of the forward-thinking devolution deal that Hull and East Riding Councils hope to strike with the Government.

The Queen during a visit to the Siemens plant in 2017 when Her Majesty also enjoyed City of Culture celebrations.

The thinking is this. If the LEAs can develop a highly-skilled and motivated workforce, and Hull’s economic outlook has changed out of all recognition since the turn of the century, then it will be easier to persuade world-leading employers like Siemens to move to the area and take advantage of both its strategic location and competitive costs.

A project which has taken on even more importance as a result of Covid-19, it can also be argued persuasively that this approach is so important that it should be starting now – and not waiting for the devolution small-print to be signed off. Now that would be a statement of intent.

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