New Regional Talent Campaign Brings Businesses Together

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Yesterday, over 30 businesses and education providers came together at Plymouth Science Park to discuss challenges around attracting and retaining talent here in the South West as part of the joint Devon & Cornwall Business Council, Western Morning News and Gradsouthwest ‘Creating Your Future – South West’ campaign. 

With near full employment in the region, a static/falling projected working age population and a growing demand from employers for higher level skills, we need to look at how we can ensure we have enough skilled people for the future world of work here in the South West – whether that is from new entrants to the labour market from our schools, colleges and Universities, the re-skilling of the current workforce or from attracting talent into our region.

The main challenges to retaining and attracting talent were identified as:

·         Workforce planning – employers need to reflect beyond the here and now as to what skills they need in 5-10 years time. This feeds directly into workforce training and...

·         Information, Advice and Guidance – we don’t let students (school, college or university) know enough about what is available locally and what demand will be.

·         Need for better connectivity (transport and digital) – this would help current businesses and attract inward investment increasing the pool of jobs available.

·         Remuneration – it’s about more than the salary alone. We need to be innovative to attract and retain people.

·         Shortage of exemplars – we need to raise awareness of the amazing employers we already have, and emphasise that you can build a career here. This will encourage people to stay, and others to move here because of the whole work-life ‘eco-system’.?

The next step for Gradsouthwest is to continue working with partners to build on the work we have started promoting the region as a great place to work, and over the next few months we will be reflecting on the event discussions and working up an action plan to play our part in growing the talent pool here. If you are interested in being part of this, drop us a quick email at, tweet us with #TalentSW and watch this space!

Dr Deborah Watson
Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.