Doncaster MP Joins Roundtable Discussion With Local Businesses, To Talk About City Centre Rejuvenation, Skills and The Local Economy
Current economic conditions, ongoing recruitment difficulties, improvements to the region’s skills system and plans to rejuvenate Doncaster city centre were all topics of discussion at a recent MPs Roundtable event, organised by the local Chamber of Commerce.
At this session, a collection of businesses from the Don Valley constituency — all of differing sizes and from across various sectors — gathered together under one roof to meet with their Member of Parliament: Nick Fletcher. Here, they were able to pose questions directly to the backbencher, raise their top concerns, and generally hash out the most pressing matters of the day.
With no rigid agenda in place, attendees were free to broach any relevant subject in the meeting. Indeed, there was healthy debate on a number of key issues, as well as about how Doncaster can become an even more business-friendly environment going forward.
On that note, the conversation spanned a diverse range of themes, including: the assorted challenges & barriers that employers often face when trying to recruit apprentices; the value that ex-offenders can bring to the workforce; and the importance of Doncaster capitalising on its City Status in the imminent future.
This open-forum generated more than just interesting discussion, however, as both Nick and the Chamber itself emerged with new priorities and commitments to pursue.
Speaking about this, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “We always aim to come out of these roundtables with fresh homework assignments, so that we can strive towards making our city an even better place to do business.
“This time around, we spoke a lot about skills and how some of our members are struggling to fill apprentice vacancies in particular. Fortunately, this is something that’s already on our radar and we will soon have a big update about work that is being done in the region to address these concerns.
“Elsewhere, we also spoke about the importance of highlighting all of the different places that talent can come from and what more ought to be done to revitalise Doncaster City Centre. Both of these things are obviously of paramount importance to our local economy and we will be campaigning for them in the near future.
“With all of that said, I would like to thank all of the businesses that attended the meeting for coming along, sharing their insights, and offering new ideas. Their input helped to make this a truly productive session. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Nick for so generously giving up his time here to engage with our members and for his incredible candour throughout.”
Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, added: “I am a strong supporter of business. I will always support local businesses. They create jobs and drive our local economy.
“Doncaster Chamber do a fantastic job in speaking up for Doncaster businesses. It’s always a pleasure to attend Chamber events and drive Doncaster forward.”
The Nick Fletcher roundtable took place on Friday the 10th of November and was kindly hosted by Doncaster Security Operations Centre (DSOC).
Doncaster Chamber always strives to give its members an audience with senior policymakers, politicians and other such influential figures. For example, previous roundtables have seen organisations engage with representatives from The Bank of England and delegates from the Reserve Forces & Cadets Association for Yorkshire and the Humber, as well as with South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard.
Meanwhile, separate roundtable sessions are convened throughout the year for each of Doncaster’s three Members of Parliament. Here, those political representatives have an opportunity to meet with businesses in their respective patches and to get apprised of the various challenges and opportunities they are facing.
The next of these will be held on Friday the 19th January with Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, followed shortly thereafter by a session with Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, on Friday the 26th of January.