UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Young People in the North East Urged to Step up to Global Challenge

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2010 09:25 GMT

Business leaders in the North East today urged young people to proactively research local industries so they can rise to the challenge of getting a job in tomorrow’s global economy. In return they pledged to help local schools and colleges play an active role in plotting the North East’s economic future.

At the North East Economic Forum annual conference, leading regional decision-makers and local students discussed how young people can equip themselves with the right skills and know-how to take advantage of new opportunities opened up by globalisation – and in the process help build the region’s ‘FutureStory’.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Regional Economic Coordination, Rosie Winterton said:

“For the region to rise to the challenges of today’s global markets and to reach its full potential, an ever-widening group of people need to understand the dynamics of the new global economy and how they can participate. This is absolutely crucial for our young people.

“They need to make sense of what globalisation means for them, because today’s 16-year-olds will be working in a radically different economy in 20 years’ time. Young people need to be able to, in a sense, tell the story of their own future, so that they can grasp the opportunities on offer.”

Rosie Winterton explained that one way of explaining these new challenges to young people is by using ‘FutureStory’, a joint initiative from the Talent and Enterprise Taskforce and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). FutureStory looks at the impact of globalisation from a regionally-specific perspective. Six books - including one focused on Newcastle and the North East - feature local case studies which illustrate how real people and real businesses are already adapting and innovating for a more prosperous future.

Rosie Winterton also launched a new interactive website, which encourages young people to build their own ‘FutureStory’ by looking at the building blocks for growth in their local area.

‘FutureStory’ themes were explored at round-table discussions between business leaders and local young people. Young people were encouraged to be proactive, adaptable and to “set their own path”. Business leaders also stressed the value of science and engineering subjects and the opportunities offered by new global industries. To offer their support, they completed pledge cards committing their help to a local school or college.

The first school to pilot the website material in the North East is Prudhoe Community High School. Two pupils from the school, Mark Churchill (16) and Jonny McGuigan (14) presented a film about their thoughts on their futures in a globalised economy. Young people from the North East’s Youth Advisory Board and local representatives from the Youth Parliament also attended the event.

Leading globalisation bloggers, Mark Kobayashi-Hillary and David Terrar covered the event, actively posting and seeding discussion across the blogosphere about the issues and themes that emerged.

Notes to editors

1.      For more on how to build your own ‘FutureStory’ go to

2.      ‘FutureStory’ is a series of six books focusing on the cities and regions of Newcastle and the North East, Southampton, Derby and the East Midlands, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow. Each book is made up of a collection of stories with accompanying video which help bring alive how globalisation is already with us, in our midst, changing the work we do, the way we live and the cities we live in.

3.      The Talent and Enterprise Taskforce and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills have partnered with the Centre for Cities to produce a series of forward-looking books, to promote a wider understanding of how globalisation is changing everyday lives and jobs.

4.      The Talent and Enterprise Taskforce is based in the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). Central to the role of the Taskforce is promoting the imperative of unlocking talent.

5.      The North East Economic Forum was established in 2005 as a vehicle for continued debate on the growth and regeneration of the North East as a region. NEEF 2010 will focus on the Low Carbon economy. The Forum brings together the regions key stakeholders from national and local government, industry and the voluntary sector; with representatives from trade unions, the regions universities and stakeholder groups such a the CBI and the Chamber of Commerce. NEEF is a Not-for-Profit organization

6.      To read blogs from the FutureStory event, visit or

7.      For further information about FutureStory contact Shivanee Chady on 0207 276 1203/0261.


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