Welcome from Mark Ryder, strategic director for communities
Hello and welcome to the February edition of Warwickshire Means Business.
There is lots of excellent news to celebrate this month, including plenty 'hot off the press.'
Over the last five years, our Skills for Employment programme has been a great success, delivering many projects and initiatives to build bridges between employers and education-providers. That support will now go from strength to strength after the council this week agreed to back Skills for Employment with £250,000 per year from now on.
Other recent news brought very encouraging tourism figures for the county. The tourism sector is a huge driver of Warwickshire's economy, generating an estimated £1.27 billion in 2018. The appeal of our lovely county to visitors from across the UK and the world is as strong as ever - and that leaves us very well-placed to capitalise upon VisitBritain's prediction that 2020 will be a record year for spending by overseas visitors to the UK.
The outlook for our buoyant tech sector is equally positive with predictions that more than 500 jobs will be created in Leamington Spa's Games Hub in the next two years. That news comes off the back of another highly successful Interactive Futures festival in the town.
Meanwhile, the strength of the region's economy was underlined by recent figures from the European Cities of the Future 2020/21. They revealed that Coventry and Warwickshire remains a leading location for Foreign Direct Investment with more than 2,500 new jobs secured in the region in the 12 months to March 2019.
In this edition of WMB we also shine the spotlight on Coventry & Warwickshire CDA, an organisation we are proud to support and which has been giving much-valued but often unsung help to our communities for almost 40 years.
We also feature another exciting new programme of our own - My World of Work 2020 which brings together Year 10 pupils across the county with up to 100 employers across Warwickshire. Please do get involved with that, if you are not already.
Please enjoy all this and much more in this month's Warwickshire Means Business.