Chamber Chat - Alistair Eagles

March 21, 2017 - 12:00pm

Chamber Chat - Alistair Eagles

We are often so busy in our work and family life that we forget how it all started.

Ultimately I live and work in Lancaster because I love it here, after first visiting on a 1 year student placement in 1990. For me the person I met at that first interview put his faith in me and changed the direction of my life from that point on. Back then the real pull for me was the mountains and the white-water kayaking available on the doorstep. For others the pull may be something completely different. It is a fantastic place to live.

Getting this message out to the world and attracting new staff to the Lancaster and Morecambe district is very important but actually retaining fantastic young local people could well be the bigger challenge for the area. We are a hotbed for educational excellence, an incubator for brilliance at all educational levels. But this area still has a relatively low level of business start-ups. We have in our midst one of the finest management schools in the entire world yet local business still struggle to find the entrepreneurial new talent that they need to move their business forward.

There is a real disconnect between local education and local business that we need to reconnect. The good news is that the problem is recognised and something is being done about it.

Both local Universities are falling over themselves to do more with local business. In terms of engagement with schools I have recently taken the challenge to volunteer as an Enterprise advisor in a local secondly school and am looking forward to trying help students to realise that real opportunities may well exist right on their doorstep.

We all have stories about how we started out and can all remember the person that gave us our chance. Working together with education, maybe it is time for us in business to give our young people their chance and really engage and enthuse them to stay in this area.