12th November 2018
By Ian Smith
Once again I had the honour of representing Food Plymouth at the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) annual conference and AGM. This year’s conference was held in the excellent setting of Sandy Park, Exeter.
This year, I was particularly struck by the ambition, energy and drive of HotSW LEP’s new Chief Executive David Ralph who clearly wants our LEP to be the best in its class and build on the abundant natural, social and economic assets in the the south west. David articulated a simple mission “It’s fundamentally about improving our economy … and increasing productivity”. I was also encouraged by hearing that the governance of LEPs is being strengthened and enhanced with a drive towards greater transparency, openness and accountability.
In support of Food Plymouth’s ambitions to contribute to the growth of learning, training and skills, I took part in an afternoon breakout session facilitated by members of the HotSW LEP’s ‘People’ team. This highlighted what we know locally, namely that their is a pattern of learning and skills gaps in certain parts of Plymouth. I do hope that this regional recognition will help us to address these needs through additional high quality food and food-related jobs and training.
This issue is calling out for imaginative solutions to augment the good work already going on. I sense that co-operative approaches will be part of this mix. Watch out for more on this topic in future editions of the Food Plymouth e-bulletin …