Forging futures for the residents of Northallerton and the surrounding area is the aim behind the town’s first Enterprise and Employment Expo.
The one-day-only event will take place in Northallerton’s Town hall on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 and bring together top regional experts in entrepreneurial enterprise with expanding local employers. Why? To give locals the opportunity to choose between new employment roles or making their own opportunities with the backing of the business support community.
Organised by the Northallerton Taskforce, the event is part of a continued drive to capitalise upon the town’s assets following the close of HRM’s Prison Northallerton and the Rural Payment Agency; an approach which has already seen one successful jobs fair take place at the town hall. Now, following the official closure of the prison and the closure of the RPA at the end of December, the focus is turning towards entrepreneurial endeavour.
Local entrepreneur and vice chair of the York, North Yorkshire and Local Enterprise Partnership, David Kerfoot, said “With this opportunity we want to give not just those made unemployed by these closures, but anyone struggling to find local employment, the tools, the courage, and the inspiration to forge their own business future if they cannot or do not wish to work for someone else.”
Although relocations have been offered to staff from the RPA and the prison, commuting or moving to York or even, as some prison officers have found, Doncaster, is not a feasible measure; especially for those who work part-time or flexibly around family commitments.
David formerly served on the board of governors for the prison where he was able to work with those employees whose lives have now been affected by the closure. For him, safeguarding their futures is a personal mission and he said, “The Enterprise and Employment Expo is going to give unemployed workers the chance to assess the opportunities that are open to them, to seize on them if they’re suitable, or to take action and make employment for themselves.”
The Northallerton Taskforce was set up following the closure of Northallerton prison (HMP Northallerton) and the Rural Payments Agency (RMP). The taskforce’s proposed focus is to “investigate the immediate impacts of public sector job losses on current staff and businesses in the town, and plan for how these might be ameliorated”.