Chamber to improve young workforce

Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Dinner
Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Dinner

Ayrshire’s business big hitters came together last Friday evening at Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner to celebrate the area’s success and commit to better their young workforce over the next 12 months.

Over 450 guests, dressed to impress, attended Ayr Racecourse for the business calendar’s biggest night and get the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Claret Jug which will be presented to the Champion Golfer at Royal Troon this summer.

Hosted by STV News at Six presenter John McKay, the theme for the evening was Developing the Young Workforce.

Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce President Stuart Cresswell stressed that it was the responsibility of those in the room to work together with education establishments to improve the skills and readiness of young people as they prepare to enter the workplace.

Alan McLeish, of principal sponsor QTS Training, used his keynote speech to highlight his company’s success in pushing and investing in their own workforce and urged other to follow suit.

Chamber Chief Executive Val Russell said: “What a fabulous night our annual dinner was. Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce is leading the Developing Young Workforce Ayrshire initiative and it was extremely encouraging to have such a positive response from our guests to improving young people’s skills and work readiness.”

While focusing on the future, there was time to reflect the success of many Ayrshire businesses over the last 12 months.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by the rising stage stars at Centrestage. Their little stars sang as guests arrived for the drinks reception and the older group rounded off the evening with their Oh What A Night medley.

Val added: “My thanks to our sponsors for their continued support and who help make this night the success that it continues to be and to the little stars of Centrestage who were fantastic.

“We’re looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Ancho Ltd and Ashleigh Construction were named Business Excellence 2016 winners at the dinner.

Both were delighted to be named winners from the six finalists in this prestigious contest.

Ancho Ltd collected the prize in the category for 25 and less employees and Ashleigh Construction in the more than 25 employees category.

Nicola Sykes, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The extremely high level of applicants just proves the quality of business based here in Ayrshire.

“It was the highest scoring we have ever had between the finalists.”