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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Young and gifted

BRITAIN’S Energy Coast™ will need a highly skilled workforce if it is to remain at the forefront of energy technology.

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TALENTED MINDS: The Youth Reaction team in all their glory

So in Barrow, as well as major physical developments like the future Marina Village and the Waterfront Business Park, the urban regeneration company steering the masterplan, Barrow Regeneration, is leading on work to attract and retain highly-skilled young people in Furness.

Statistics show young people attracted to the bright lights are leaving Furness to live and work in other areas. The Talented Minds programme put together by Barrow Regeneration is attempting to arrest the brain drain.

The £2m three-year programme is supported by Northwest Regional Development Agency money and covers a clutch of different projects embracing everything from school children to sports activities and supporting our young professionals.

Project Manager Nicola Foster said “ Talented Minds is all about celebrating our assets. Barrow has got a lot to offer young people. We have world-class job opportunities such as those in submarine design and building, a brilliant community spirit, it’s easier to get on the property ladder, we are surrounded by beautiful beaches, and the Lake District is just next door.”

As well as working with graduates and apprentices, encouraging them to move to or stay in Barrow, the Talented Minds also works with school-age children. By the time major physical developments such as the Marina Village are complete, the school children will be young adults and a key target market for the development.

Nicola said: “It is important that young people feel involved in these developments and that they live up to this generation’s expectations.

“We are working with young people to try and get them involved in the town’s regeneration. We want young people to be proud of their town. We’ve worked with every secondary school in Barrow as well as Dowdales in Dalton and Ulverston Victoria High School.”

Barrow Regeneration commissioned research into skills retention in Furness and West Cumbria.

One area the research highlighted as important to the attraction and retention of young people was a town’s cultural offer. As a result the programme is supporting organisations such as The Ashton Theatre Group, Dare Dance and Signal Films. The town’s enterprise agency, Furness Enterprise, is also involved.

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