Bringing the talent home
A brand-new campaign launched this week aims to tug at the heart strings of people from north Wales who have left the area to get them to “Come back and Give back”.
The M-SParc (Menai Science Park) campaign in partnership with the North Wales Ambition Board, Llwyddo’n Lleol, Gwynedd Council, Darogan Talent, Global Welsh, and Bangor University will promote employment and business opportunities in north Wales, targeting people who have left to further their education or careers. The aim is to showcase the area as an ideal location to live and work – and in the long run, to encourage people to return and to contribute to the region’s economy.
Pryderi ap Rhisiart, Managing Director of M-SParc, explains: “It’s an age-old story for rural areas like Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy – as young people leave to go to University or to find work, and the significant effect this has on communities both socially and in terms of the Welsh language. So, we want to kick start a conversation locally and with those who have left, but long to come back home.”
“It’s a general belief that there are no high-quality jobs here or that we haven’t got the resources or facilities for business. As a result, young people stay away which also means that the area is deprived of crucial skills and talent. At a time when we need to be looking at rebuilding the economy, our aim with this campaign is to try and change these perceptions – showing that there are opportunities here and that we want to help people return.”
The second aspect of the campaign is to reach out to those who have been successful in business or in their careers beyond the borders of north Wales and encourage them to give back in order to support new businesses in the area. Having developed contacts with Welsh people around the globe, campaign partners are appealing to people to register an interest to contribute, either of their time as mentors, or to invest financially to support new ventures in the area.
Someone who has already made the move back is Billy Williams – founder of Cufflink, a technology company which helps people manage their personal information safely online. Originally from Amlwch, Billy attended Ysgol Sir Thomas Jones in the town, before leaving to go to Huddersfield University. He has worked all over the world – from London to Switzerland, Dubai and Australia, but, like many, he wanted to move back home to raise a family.
“Having travelled extensively for several years, when we had children I wanted to bring them up close to family and in a safe and bilingual environment. It no longer matters where you live when it comes to where you work. Remote working has always been part of our company ethos and given recent events there’s never been a better opportunity to relocate back to such a beautiful, safe and vibrant part of the world.”
Bangor University is also a campaign partner, Vice-Chancellor, Iwan Davies said:
“We are proud of the University’s strong network of alumni. Our graduates go out into the world to apply the skills they have learnt here at Bangor, and we want to ensure that they can come back to the area to be part of the region's future. Through M-SParc as well as through other exciting schemes, there are great careers and opportunities to be had here as well as the necessary skills to achieve success.”
Morgan Thomas from Benllech has had the opportunity to come back to the area to work. After his time at Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge he went to John Moores University in Liverpool to study Business Management.
He explains: “I have just finished my second year at university and I’m on a year out in industry as part of my course. I have been lucky enough to get to work with Virustaticshield at M-SParc during my placement. The company produces anti-viral face covering and has grown substantially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It is valuable experience for me and I hope when I finished my degree that I can come back to the area – to do a masters at Bangor University to begin with, before looking for a permanent job. My work with Virustaticshield shows that there are opportunities here and it has opened my eyes to the technology that’s available on my door-step here on Anglesey.”
Over the coming months the team at M-Sparc hope the campaign will gain momentum and highlight what the area has to offer by developing contacts through traditional and social media. The aim is also to reach out to universities and to Welsh societies and networks across the UK and beyond to create a buzz amongst those who want to return to their roots.
All the information about “Come Back // Give Back” and the related opportunities are available on the M-SParc website. To get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or register at www.m-sparc.com/dewch-yn-ol (m-sparc.com).