Well we’re here – in 2016.
It’s a year when thinking ahead, and concerning ourselves about the future, will be vital.
Now, more than ever, business needs the next generation of workforce to be motivated and ready for work.
Without the right skills though, that new workforce becomes not just a wasted resource but a demotivating trap for school leavers and graduates.
A recent survey of youngsters in their GCSE year found them pessimistic about their future.
Those young people are here now.
They’re graduating, leaving school, and applying for jobs.
Those jobs are with employers who need the workforce of the future.
We all have to work together, to make the two groups come together in a perfect match. This is a match of youth and experience, skills and roles.
And we need to close the skills gap. Because we know that, although challenging, the future for business in West Norfolk is full of opportunities.
At the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce we’ve been supporting businesses for a long time now.
In fact 2016 is our 120th anniversary. Marking the occasion has been an opportunity to do some research in our archives. It’s proved interesting, and occasionally amusing.
We’ll be adding some of our findings onto our website during the year.
Fun though it’s been to look back it is, of course, the future that matters.
We’ll be putting as much effort as ever into helping young people into work, and into the consistently important work of building the bridge between business and education.
There’s a new movie out just now. You may have heard something about it. Something to do with Star Wars? It’s called The Force Awakens.
Well, as we celebrate our anniversary we’ll be taking a look at a long, long time ago. But we’ll also be doing our best to awaken the force. The workforce. Supporting it, and developing it. Because suddenly it’s the future!