Participants talked skills, growth and business challenges during the visit to EY’s St James’ Boulevard offices on Friday (19 May).
During the visit, Chi met EY staff and joined a roundtable discussion on local issues chaired by ICAEW.
ICAEW’s Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) for the North East, which was published in April, found the region had the second-highest business confidence reading across the UK, behind only Yorkshire and the Humber. The lift in sentiment came after a decline during 2022, the BCM – which is one of the largest and most comprehensive quarterly surveys of UK business activity - found. Sentiment remains fragile amid ongoing economic uncertainty and skills shortages, ICAEW said.
James Callaghan, Regional Director Northern, Yorkshire and Humber, said:
“The North East economy is on the up and is coming back with a vengeance, benefitting everyone. We are proud to support chartered accountants and policymakers by providing detailed insights from the BCM, and we were delighted to discuss with Chi Onwurah MP the significant growth opportunities offered by start-ups and highlight ways businesses in the region work with universities to develop skills.
“There are still enormous challenges remaining in the North East, including problems with skills retention in the region and access to finance, and we look forward to working with Chi to address these issues.”
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, said:
“ICAEW’s Business Confidence Monitor provides an important insight into the regional economy, and it’s great to hear that business confidence in the North East is now the second highest in the UK.
“I was delighted to visit EY to see the contribution they are making to business in Newcastle, including the opportunities provided by their apprenticeship programme. I’ll continue to work with EY and other local employers to address the economic challenges that we are still facing.”
Michael Scoular, Newcastle Office Managing Partner at EY, said:
“We were delighted to welcome Chi Onwurah, ICAEW and business leaders from across the North East to EY in Newcastle as part of a great event. I was particularly proud that we could showcase the experiences and qualities of some of our diverse and talented people in Newcastle too, who are a huge part of who we are and what we stand for.
“Newcastle is EY’s largest UK office outside of London, employing almost 900 people. Last year we also recruited 55 students in the City. The accountancy sector continues to be a significant employer across the region, whilst also playing an important role in supporting the wider business community.
“The North is home to many of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative businesses, and while it’s positive that the ICAEW’s Business Confidence Monitor showed an uptick in sentiment, EY’s recent Regional Economic Forecast highlighted some of the North East’s challenges. It is critical that the public and private sectors work together to combine their expertise and capabilities to build on the positive business sentiment in order to help maximise growth for the region.”
Notes to editors:
Pictures are available on request.
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