More than 50 people turned up at an event to discuss ways to retain and develop young talent in the creative and digital/hi-tech sectors in the City of Wolverhampton.

The Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton city centre played host to an informal Creative & Tech Meet Up, organised by City of Wolverhampton Council and partners as part of the EU funded project 'Gen-Y City!'.

Developing the creative and digital sectors is also one of the 8 priority areas of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "We wanted to stimulate a conversation with the talented creative people in the city to find out what is happening and how best to develop and retain young talent in the creative and technical sectors.

"Culture and the creative industries are a high growth and high value sector and make up an important element of the UK's and the City of Wolverhampton's economy. The sector helps drive regeneration, placemaking and the visitor economy."

City of Wolverhampton is one of 12 European cities participating in the 2 year Gen Y city! project, which aims to help improve cities by identifying what young people - also known as Millennials or Generation Y - want and need, so helping attract and retain skilled young people in these areas.

The project aims to identify the city's strengths and what creative and digital organisations need to grow and take on more young people.

Councillor Reynolds added: "The team were delighted with the turnout and the response. More than 50 people turned up and their comments were overwhelmingly positive.

"There was a real appetite from those attending for more events in the future to support the sector. Wolverhampton has a strong creative base on which to build, with many people saying we have an abundance of local talent and excellent creative spaces - all of which should be promoted."

Shaun Owen from West Midlands Media, said: "There was a really nice atmosphere and it was great to see game developers, designers, programmers, artists, crafts people, filmmakers and digital marketeers all in one room. 

"West Midlands Media are very keen to help support future events and keep the momentum going."

Many business owners who attended the event were very keen to meet with people looking to break into the industry and potentially offer them opportunities.

Following on from the success of the evening the organisers would like to hear from more businesses in the creative/technical sectors, with a view to organising another event before Christmas. Anyone interested should call City of Wolverhampton Council Development Officer (Funding & Projects), Catherine Perry, on 01902 552005.

  • released: Thursday 5 October, 2017