Portsmouth will have the skill to ensure a £1bn cash pot is not wasted

BUSY Entrepreneur and, inset, original Dragons' Den star Doug Richard speaking at the conference. Picture: Sarah Standing (13265-5437)
BUSY Entrepreneur and, inset, original Dragons' Den star Doug Richard speaking at the conference. Picture: Sarah Standing (13265-5437)
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A PLAN to ensure that Portsmouth has enough home-grown talent to secure the city’s future has been unveiled.

The city council’s new employment, learning and skills plan was revealed at the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth conference, which saw around 250 of the city’s business and community leaders come together.

SPEECH Original Dragons' Den star Doug Richard speaking at the conference. Picture: Sarah Standing (13265-5437)

SPEECH Original Dragons' Den star Doug Richard speaking at the conference. Picture: Sarah Standing (13265-5437)

Kathy Wadsworth, the council’s director of regeneration, unveiled the plan, which aims to ensure a massive £1bn investment in the city does not go to waste.

Some of the projects include the regeneration of Tipner, which has begun, the Northern Quarter shopping centre, due to open in 2018, investment in roads, broadband infrastructure and projects to attract more businesses into the city.

She said: ‘If we’re able to deliver all of that, we’ll be directly creating 11,500 jobs.

‘If we’re getting these new opportunities and these new jobs, the big, big thing is ensuring the local people of whatever age are trained to get whatever jobs are coming.’

And she added: ‘It’s no good creating thousands of new jobs if they aren’t going to people from Portsmouth. That’s why we’ve launched the employment, learning and skills plan.

‘This plan will aim to ensure our residents and young people have the skills to meet the future demands of employees, which will lead to them having more choice of quality employment.’

The plan is now open for consultation – to download a copy, see portsmouth.gov.uk/yourcouncil/28602.html

The Shaping the Future of Portsmouth conference marked two years since the organisation was formed and as well as celebrating achievements so far looked to set in place the foundation for success over the next two years.

Other speakers at the event included former Dragons’ Den star Doug Richard, Portsmouth entrepreneur Rachel Lowe, creator of the Destination board games, and Rory Fisher, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime Services.

Walter Cha, chairman of the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth said: ‘Hopefully a lot of the delegates who aren’t actively involved in our projects will now rise to the challenge and work with us to help form an even stronger partnership for the future of Portsmouth.’

To find out more, see shapingportsmouth.co.uk