Master Cutler Pam Liversidge, has called on Sheffield business and the wider community to do more to encourage the brightest and the best young people to choose careers in engineering and technology.
Mrs Liversidge was speaking at her installation in the historic Cutlers’ Hall as the first woman to hold the role of Master Cutler in the Company of Cutlers’ 387 year history.
She told Members, Freemen and guests: “Manufacturing needs to draw on the full range of skills and knowledge to compete successfully in global markets to create growth and wealth.
“International investors favour regions with a readily available skilled workforce.
“It is encouraging to see increasing availability of apprenticeships in local manufacturing businesses but we still need to encourage more young people, especially the brightest and the best, to choose careers in engineering and technology.
“We also have to address the challenge of modifying our education system to engage the 50 per cent of young people who do not have academic aspirations.”
Mrs Liversidge revealed that Sheffield City Council had, in recent months, encouraged the Cutlers Company to increase its involvement with local schools to ensure that young people left them with the skills needed by industry.
The Company would be picking up that challenge and saw it as an important project to which Freemen could make a major contribution.
Mrs Liversidge went on to call for a closer and more integrated partnership between local universities, colleges, schools and the private and public sector to create a seamless educational system which allowed young people to gain higher level skills and employment.
“I am optimistic that there is an appetite within our region for such an innovation and I shall do my best as Master Cutler to provide a forum for a unified and dynamic approach.
“The Cutlers Company finds itself in an ideal position to give leadership to such an initiative, as well as contributing to the development of the skills agenda of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.”