SHEFFIELD’s first ever female Master Cutler Pam Liversidge issued a rallying call to the city’s business community as she made history and was installed in the role.
Mrs Liversidge called on Sheffield business and the wider community to encourage the brightest and best young people to become engineers and technologists.
She was speaking in the Cutler’s Hall as the first woman to be 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 Sheffield Council had encouraged the Cutlers Company to increase its involvement with schools to ensure young people left with the skills needed by industry.
The company would be picking up the challenge and saw it as an important project to which Freemen could make a contribution.
She 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,” she said.
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