OVER the last 20 years in Gloucestershire, I have tried to promote the aspirations of our young people. And I believe that business needs to ensure they support their young people who are key to future growth.

Two young people who show that vision for growth are Lucy Ackland, a senior engineer at Renishaw and Charlie Savage, restaurant manager of the Royal Agricultural University.

Lucy was born in Stroud and became an engineering apprentice at 16. In 2017, she was named as one of the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering. She is now a board member of GFirstLEP and submitted some illuminating thoughts from herself and Renishaw colleagues as feedback to Gloucestershire’s Draft Economic Strategy.

On skills and employment-one of our key challenges-she says: “Should the county council be trying to consider an older workforce and how business could start adapting to allow for older workers?

“Consideration of childcare provision, return to work schemes and looking into other potential barriers that are causing people in the county to be economically inactive.” And on infrastructure, she says: ”We are seeing issues with available housing in the area, particularly for those relocating and more specifically, affordable housing that is suitable for graduates and early careers employees”.

Renishaw are rightly proud of Lucy’s talents-she is a strong advocate for apprenticeships, women in engineering and education engagement.

Another of our young people I have been very impressed with is Charlie Savage, who won the Rising Star award at the Gloucestershire Business Awards last week. He joined the Royal Agriculture University in Cirencester as a school leaver with a passion to pursue a career in hospitality and catering. As one of the awards’ judges, I was impressed how he quickly developed into the role of restaurant manager. A big job with the RAU catering for 11 000 plus students a day,200 staff and 12 000 visitors a year.

Renishaw and the Royal Agricultural University are developing enthusiastic young people like Lucy and Charlie.

They deserve our congratulations.