OPINION: Thinking smarter about finding employment

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In an increasingly crowded and competitive jobs market, it’s always good news to see more positions being opened up - and today The Star can happily report another 300 potential posts being created right on Sheffield’s doorstep.

As part of Chesterfield’s £320million regeneration, office, retail and hotel opportunities are set to be created, bringing with it the groundswell of new employment opportunities - see page 26 for all the details.

When job cuts are being made at places like Sheffield Council and the government’s local business department, it is encouraging to see more potential positions within commutable reach for people in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

But if you can’t find a job, make one for yourself.

That’s what self-made entrepreneur Simon Meadows did. After growing up in Heeley, the Intake-based inventor created a product to take on to BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den - a special safety lid for cement mixers on construction sites.

The Dragons didn’t open their wallets, but that hasn’t stopped Simon from selling thousands of his products and attempting to crack America - see page 8 to read his inspiring story.

Simon represents that never-say-die attitude that has come to reflect the people of Sheffield.

We might not be as big as Leeds or Manchester, but we don’t let rejection get us down, and we pick ourselves up, carry on and get things done regardless.

Simon, who visited Downing Street, is also attempting to use his success so far to make another positive change.

While there, he told George Osborne that the Government needs to train more apprentices.

What better time to spread that message than this week, National Apprentices Week?

As you’ll see on page 3, youngsters in Sheffield are this week being encouraged to think about a different way of getting job skills from the traditional school-
college-university route.

Not just because you’re free from student debt, but because you learn work-based vocational skills, making it directly applicable to real jobs in a way that a humanities degree probably isn’t.

In a post-recession world, it’s clear everyone has to think a little smarter when approaching the jobs market, whether it’s through new training routes or self-employment, and the people making a success of it are the trailblazers we should all applaud.