The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Partnership working is key to Ayrshire's success

Increased partnership working is critical to achieving a stronger, more
sustainable economy in Ayrshire.

This is the view of Evelyn McCann, operations director, Scottish
Enterprise (SE) Ayrshire who was speaking at the organisation's Annual
Public Meeting in Kilmarnock today (2 October 2007). At the meeting, the
agency launched its Annual Review 2006/2007 and shared its achievements
with an audience of businesses and partner organisations.


[Picture shows left to right: Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire operations director Evelyn McCann, SEA chairman Simon Foster and Charlie Johnston, director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California.]

Evelyn took the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the importance of
close partnership working with many organisations, both public and
private, to grow Ayrshire's economy. She also recognised the drive,
creativity and ambition of the area's businesses and workforce. She
said:

"What we have achieved in the last year has only been possible with the
support, commitment and resources of our local partners and our
colleagues across Scottish Enterprise.

"Following the Scottish Government's announcement about the future of
the enterprise networks, these partnerships will play an increasingly
important role as we further develop the future of our organisation. We
will continue to deliver our services in Ayrshire to remain close to our
customers and deliver effective local services."

Evelyn highlighted the work of the Ayrshire Redundancy Response
partnership as an excellent example of partnership working. It has
supported a significant number of workers who have been affected by
recent large scale redundancies in the region.

Led by Jobcentre Plus, it includes representatives from Scottish
Enterprise Ayrshire, the three local authorities, Careers Scotland,
Business Gateway and others, and ensures that redundant workers are
given access to alternative training and employment opportunities. An
example is that more than 83 per cent of individuals who lost their jobs
as the result of the Simclar closure have successfully moved into work
or training with the support of the partnership.

At the Annual Public Meeting, Evelyn was joined by Scottish Enterprise
Ayrshire's chairman, Simon Foster and guest speaker Charlie Johnston,
Director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California.


[Picture shows left to right: Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire operations director Evelyn McCann, Charlie Johnston, Director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California, and SEA chairman Simon Foster.]

Charlie, born and bred in Ayrshire, took the opportunity to tell the
audience about the challenges and opportunities in today's global
economy, and as a Globalscot, he explained how his role can offer
support to local companies.

Evelyn also acknowledged the strengths of Ayrshire's aerospace sector
and highlighted the investment plans of GE Caledonian and Goodrich. And
she demonstrated how Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is supporting the
growing tourism industry by maximising the opportunities around Burns,
golf and sailing.

Highlights of the last year included:

* Business Gateway assisted 625 businesses to start up, with 259
starts by women and 98 starts from residents in disadvantaged areas

* SE Ayrshire provided bespoke assistance to 214 businesses with
significant growth potential

* 2263 individuals participated in Scottish Enterprise's
vocational training programmes (Get Ready for Work, Skillseekers, Modern
Apprenticeships and Training for Work), with 1,590 moving into work or
further training opportunities

* 30 businesses were helped to internationalise their activities
and increase their global presence

* Continued progress with the regeneration of Ayr and Kilmarnock
town centres and the Irvine Bay area

Evelyn continued: "Today's Annual Public Meeting demonstrates that, with
the support of many partners, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is making a
positive difference. As we move forward, there's no doubt that Ayrshire
will have a significant role to play in the future development of
Scotland's economy. I'm confident that by working together we will
ensure that Ayrshire reaps the benefits it deserves."

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