YP Comment: Powerhouse role for businesses

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IT is significant that Bradford, Hull and Middlesbrough have been named as vacancy hotspots in a new survey – all three are continuing to count the cost of previous economic downturns as an above-average number of people chase each vacancy.

This is further compounded by all those school leavers who do not have the skills required by those employers who are choosing to invest and expand in these areas.

This is why today’s call for a new business forum to be launched to work alongside various Northern Powerhouse policy initiatives is important if public and private sector investment in this region is to be maximised.

While improved transport links are fundamental to the North’s future prospects, the issue of skills must not be under-estimated – examples of businesses bemoaning the calibre of school leavers, and even high-flying university graduates, have become all too common in recent times.

With Theresa May and Philip Hammond yet to adequately explain how, and why, the Northern Powerhouse schools budget was cut by £10m in last week’s Autumn Statement, an issue highlighted by The Yorkshire Post on Saturday, proper oversight and scrutiny of political initiatives is crucial.

Who better to provide it than the region’s brightest and best business leaders, the very entrepreneurs with a proven track record when it comes to creating jobs and prosperity?

Hull and Bradford named as two of the most challenging employment markets in the country