Wakefield Bondholder First Friday Event

04 July 2016

Following on from the great success of Wakefield Business Week in June, we kicked off July with a very exciting First Friday morning with the aptly titled “Construction Industry – Building a Wealth of Opportunities”

The event took place at the beautiful Mechanics Theatre on Wood Street which encouraged more creative networking to take place and connections to be made.

Bondholder Chair Adrian Spawforth reminded us of the key elements to keep in mind and consider over the summer with businesses; what makes us Visit, Live and Invest in the Wakefield District? To succeed we must get the fundamentals right. Maximising our offer including land, infrastructure, skills and business are crucial to make us grow as a district, both culturally and economically.

We were delighted to hear from Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, who gave us an insightful overview on skills, particularly in the construction sector. It was highlighted that young people’s skills and ambitions should be nurtured from a young age in order for them to develop in a way which will benefit them in the future, such as choosing which path to take after secondary education. This means considering starting in primary schools to get a head start and form skills which are transferrable.

Cllr Box stressed it takes businesses and education providers working closely together to make an impact on young people.

Pete Bevil, CEO of Central Alliance, focused his talk on the emergence of new technology in the sector of construction, including satellite technology for better monitoring without having to be on site and radar technology for monitoring hard to reach areas, such as utilities and embankments, often saving millions. This creates more accurate results, with equipment which is more convenient to control.

However, this introduction to new technology demands more specialised skills from young people.

Working together means benefits for businesses, young people and education providers. For businesses it creates motivated and talented staffs, which have corporate and social responsibility, for young people it creates employability skills, character development and business led informed choices, and for education providers it creates access to Enterprise Advisors and mentors and growth sector intelligence.

To develop Wakefield as a district, we must focus on nurturing young people in order to develop the skills that they can transfer to businesses such as the construction led sector.

With lots of ways for businesses to get involved in skills development, you can find out more by contacting us at or call 01924 306008

You can still access the Wakefield Skills Summit on the 8th July - Visit to find out more.