On Wednesday 29 November, the Pathways to Work Commission met with businesses to explore how more people in Barnsley can benefit from local jobs.
The panel of global experts enjoyed collaborating with local Barnsley businesses of different sizes and regional employers.
The conversation focused on how employers can create good work opportunities and celebrating examples of good practice in the borough. In a bid to discover how these opportunities can be even better, the panel discussed what support Barnsley people would benefit from.
This included how flexibility, support for caring responsibilities, nurturing health and wellbeing, support for people with disabilities and health conditions, as well as championing lifelong learning can impact employees.
Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: "Barnsley is a great place to invest where businesses, employees and customers support an economy that benefits everyone. From thriving start-ups, growing local businesses to industry leaders, there’s a vast range of roles and opportunities here.
Businesses play a key part of creating new possibilities for residents. Working together to identify future options and solutions to challenges is vital. Together, we aim to develop innovative practices now and in the future.”
The Pathways to Work Commission are interested in developing solutions to the challenges that people and businesses face. Part of this includes how changes to local and national collaboration can improve pathways for local people.
Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, said: “Today’s session provided an excellent milestone for the project. Local employers play a key role in supporting people to benefit from work. Understanding how we can build on successes and do things differently in Barnsley is a powerful part of making change happen.”
Local insight is the key to understanding what can be achieved in Barnsley. The national and global experts that are part of the commission have fantastic insight into what is possible and the impact that innovative approaches can make. Paired with experiences from businesses, the Commission are focused and invested into outcomes that make a difference to the local inclusive economy.
Alan Milburn, Chair of the Pathways to Work Commission added: “Local businesses are key to creating more jobs and more prosperity in Barnsley. By working with employers to provide flexible and rewarding work, the Commission aims to reduce levels of economic inactivity in the area."
As well as learning from businesses, the Pathways to Work programme are gearing up to engage with people and communities. Over the next few months, they’ll be speaking to people that have faced challenges that make it more difficult for them to access work opportunities and develop their skills.
Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire, stated: "The lived experience of the people of Barnsley have to be at the heart of this piece of work, and where we get the insight, we need to provide those opportunities that will make the biggest difference. There is huge potential here in Barnsley. The work we’re doing has to focus on giving everyone the opportunity to make the most of their own skills, talents, and expertise.”
People can find more information about the Pathways To Work Commission on the Barnsley Council website.