Business & Enterprise
I believe that for Sheffield to thrive and flourish we need to encourage more people to consider entering business and boosting our economy. Our city has been built on wealth-creators and innovators and we must ensure that proud heritage continues.
Sheffield has huge potential in its materials, engineering, medical and digital industries – to name but a few. We have two excellent universities, attracting the best and brightest to this city, and we must do all we can to capture that talent and develop our homegrown leaders of the future. People who move to Sheffield so often fall in love with the place and I would love more to be able to stay and contribute to growing our economy.
We now also have the new University Technical College and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, with members such as Boeing and Rolls Royce. I am also a member of the South Yorkshire International Trade Forum and recently sat on one of their panels to encourage businesses to consider exporting more of their products and services.
Education & Training
Having well-skilled, trained and motivated staff is vital for organisations and companies across Sheffield and the country as a whole. This is something I have been passionate about throughout my time in business and many of my voluntary roles have focused on promoting this.
As an employer, I have always sought not only to train the apprentices and graduates we have taken on but to share that vision and experience with others.
Being Chairman of Sheffield’s Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) allowed me to see what skills were needed by our city’s great businesses and then work with schools, colleges and universities to help develop these.
Also in the past I have been a trustee of Lindley Educational Trust, which seeks to train and give skills to disadvantaged young people. I have been a school governor and helped lobby universities to consider setting up the new University Technical College (UTC) which recently opened in Sheffield.
Health services are so important in this country and it is because of the fact that none of us know when we may need health services that I have been so keen to be involved in developing health services for Sheffield, for South Yorkshire and the whole region.
I have been lucky enough to see for myself the quality of care, service, people and facilities that exists in the NHS. However, with such a complex organisation, it is vital a culture of high standards exists and that when things do go wrong they are dealt with swiftly, professionally and openly.
That desire to see good governance led me to become a director of Sheffield Health Authority in 2000. Over the 13 years I spent as a Non-Executive Director in the NHS I developed a passion for the NHS and its challenge to apply ever more clever medicine.
My roles led me from Sheffield to South Yorkshire, to Yorkshire, to finally the NHS North of England, where I chaired the audit committee, helping to ensure good governance and use of resources.
I believe there is still much work to be done in the city regarding health improvements, not least to further reduce health inequalities amongst the population. Two of my other passions are to see fewer mixed sex wards and better nursing training have been achieved during my time as a Non-Executive Director of the Health Authority.
A few years ago I joined the more than 7,000 who have become Members of Sheffield Hospitals Trust. I would encourage others to engage in this way too.
I know that technology can have a vital role in improving our lives, our environment and our city.
As an engineer, I have been keen to be at the forefront of advances in renewable energy. The company I started over 15 years ago has played a key role in installing this technology, harnessing the power of the free natural resource of the wind (of which we get a lot) and the sun (of which we don’t have quite so much).
We have installed renewable technology throughout Yorkshire and beyond but I know that in order to get people to buy into harnessing this energy, we need to make sure that the equipment is as affordable as possible and doesn’t burden energy users with even heftier bills in the future.
My company also makes and services metal handling and recycling equipment which means more of our waste can be re-used cost effectively. This is something we need to do more of across our city but we must make it easier for residents and businesses to recycle to allow that to happen.