More than 100 businesses were joined by young apprentices from Croydon Council for the first Croydon Means Business Forum.
The event which took place on Wednesday at The Business Xchange, was held in celebration of the work Croydon businesses are doing with local schools and council partners to support and develop the borough’s young people and help them make the right choices about their futures. Launching in Croydon’s Year for Business, the event programme looked at how Croydon’s business community are working to create a dynamic future workforce that will drive economic growth and how the skills gap – the skills employers want from potential employees compared with the skills job seekers actually have- is being addressed.
As part of the forum, talks were given on the benefits of apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people, the benefits for businesses of working with young people, and delegates also heard from Laurence Grant from Shaking Hands which supports small businesses in Croydon, who has been nominated for the Federation of Small Business’ young entrepreneur of the year.
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, said: “I am delighted we have been able to hold this event to acknowledge the close working partnerships between Croydon’s businesses and our young people and look at how we can further nurture that relationship. Young people told us at our Youth Congress that how to be successful is a key priority for them, this coupled with the fact SMEs are integral to the future of Croydon’s economy shows why events like this that bring both parties together are so important for the borough’s future.”