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Wednesday 19th October 2016
We are now half way through Leeds Business Week (17th- 21st October)! Over the course of this week there’s over 100 business focused events taking place, including workshops, masterclasses, networking events and exhibitions celebrating all things business in our city!

So what’s so great about business in Leeds?

Leeds is currently going through an exciting period of growth, despite a recession the city has still managed to grow its economy by 40%! Leeds has gone through some considerable change over the last five years with significant investment being pumped into the city making business thrive. With major projects such as the opening of the Trinity Centre and the First Direct Arena in 2013, and the upcoming opening of the Victoria Gate shopping centre (opening Thursday 20th October) driving more jobs, business and revenue to the city centre.

In July 2014, the UK government announced its historic £1bn Local Growth Deal to create tens of thousands of new jobs and accelerate economic growth across the entire city region. Over six years, the Leeds City Region will receive £573 million (the largest allocation to any region) to expand training, housing and infrastructure for continued economic development, plus an extra £420 million over 20 years to deliver the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund for rail and road improvements. 

At the moment Leeds is the UK’s largest employment hub outside of London, with an active workforce totalling 480,000 and with consistent falling unemployment figures. It’s definitely a great time to be working, and doing business in Leeds.

What’s to gain from Leeds business week?

Leeds business week gives local businesses the chance to showcase their services and also gives workers in Leeds a chance to learn new skills that will help their businesses grow and prosper, from content marketing master classes, to social media strategy seminars as well as various opportunities to network with other professionals, including business lunches, and networking drinks events organised by various Leeds based event partners (BJSS, StepChange Debt Charity, Leeds City Council, HERD and Google to name but a few.)

We took the opportunity to head to a couple of events held at the Leeds club yesterday including an engaging talk by Nigel Cliffe all about LinkedIn, and how to engage with future customers aswell as the do’s and don’ts of a successful profile and network. We also attended an interesting masterclass by Helen Mary Gill  of Engage Comms, her session was all about content marketing, how to build a strategy and advice useful advice from her own experiences on what works and what doesn’t.

Bridging the digital skills gap...

On Thursday, the second Leeds Digital Job Fair will be held at the First Direct arena. The first event was held back in February and was a massive success which saw over 30 different businesses based around the Leeds area show case their digital roles to around 2,000 prospective candidates (read more about our previous visit here).

Digital is a huge area of growth in Leeds with a growing number of fantastic companies offering incredible opportunities to people with the right skills. Amy De-Balsi, founder of Leeds online job board HERD, stated that the number of vacancies in the Leeds digital sector has risen by almost half over the last 12 months from 400 roles to 600 roles. However with a lack of candidates with the correct skills, more needs to be done to get more people into technology based careers. Therefore the Leeds digital job fair is a perfect opportunity to make head way in doing this.

We're looking forward to heading to some more events as the week goes on. Click here to find out about more events you can attend this week.
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