World Class Worcestershire – Peter Pawsey, Executive Chairman

First published in the Worcester News on 05.12.2014

World Class Worcestershire  #WorldClassWorcs

Two weeks ago, we  welcomed investors, developers and employers who are considering a future in the County to a World Class Worcestershire event at Marble Arch, London.

The event, a joint initiative from organisations across the County, showcased why Worcestershire truly is a World Class place to do business. Speakers outlined the excellent development and investment opportunities, the business support and highly skilled workforce available. We are all now following up excellent leads before welcoming the attendees back to the County in March.

The Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards last week, hosted by Nick Hewer of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’, were fantastic – congratulations to all nominees and winners. A special mention here goes to Philip Round, at Worcestershire Group Training Association, who was recognised for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Over his career, Philip has made a huge impact on the lives and careers of over 5,000 apprentices across Herefordshire and Worcestershire – a shining example to us all. We do hope others will follow this lead, which together with the hard work of the young people, schools and businesses across the county has resulted in over 10,000 people actively participating in apprenticeship programmes, and that number is still rising. It is great news that the Autumn Statement will help companies employ even more apprentices with the announcement that National Insurance contributions have been removed.

This week we have welcomed new investment in Worcester to keep the County moving during flooding. Having worked closely with the Highways Agency, pressing the need for improvements, the LEP also welcomes the news that junctions 5, 6 and 7 of M5 will each be improved alongside Smart Motorway standards between junctions 4a and 6.  This will particularly support development at Worcester Technology Park.  Improvements to the A417 near the Air Balloon in Gloucestershire, also announced, will reduce journey times to and from the south of the County. We will continue to press the need for other vital schemes such as the Carrington Bridge.

Peter Pawsey,
Executive Chairman
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership