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Investment Case: Wythenshawe

Led by the leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, the public meeting took place at the Wythenshawe based offices of international consumer goods business PZ Cussons, with a panel consisting of Manchester Airports Group, Carillion and Business in the Community.

The aim of the event, which attracted over 100 employers, was to connect businesses with the Wythenshawe community in a way that would benefit local young people equipping them with skills and experience to find better employment when they leave school.

Many of the key players on the panel explained how effective social responsibility enhances the skills of their workforce, builds stronger business and connects with communities on their doorstep whilst helping improve aspirations and vocational opportunities.

In other words by helping the community businesses also help themselves and their employees.

“Manchester is the largest and fastest growing regional economy outside London,” said Sir Richard Leese at the event, “and our ambition is to become a financially self-sustaining city which is at the heart of a Northern Powerhouse.

“Already 52,000 people work across Wythenshawe, with the investment in the Enterprise Zone we expect this to grow 68,000 over the coming 10-15 years."

“16,000 of these jobs are expected to come from Airport City alone. Half of these new jobs will require higher-level and graduate skills in key growth sectors such as logistics, creative and digital, bio-science, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and construction."

“Although there is a role for the public sector in all of this, there is also a major role for business."

“This includes creating new employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents; investing in the skills development of existing staff; and ensuring that the lowest paid workers are paid the Living Wage.”

Employers such as PZ Cussons, Wates, Form/Works, Carillion and Manchester Airports Group explained how they already engage with local communities (often with the help of Business in the Community) helping create a stronger Wythenshawe ready for the employment challenges of the future. This included teaching schoolchildren and students the value of building, architecture in construction, film-making and animation as well as more general skills around problem solving and confidence building.

Over the following months the businesses that attended will be matched up with the many communities within Wythenshawe to help strengthen the area’s potential and in turn help the businesses achieve a more sustainable future.

For more information, or to get involved, please go to the Real Lives Wythenshawe website or call 0161 219 6425.