The new boss of Doncaster Chamber has laid out his plans to get business booming again in the town.
Dan Fell started his new role as chief executive officer (CEO) on Monday, after spending a decade with the organisation and having previously served as deputy CEO.
The 33-year-old Tickhill man said boosting education and skills in the business sector, along with growing Chamber membership, are all key objectives for the year ahead.
He told the Free Press he could not wait to get started and added: “I am looking forward working closely with the local business community and our stakeholder organisations alike to support a vibrant Doncaster economy.”
Mr Fell hopes to broaden the Doncaster Skills Academy (DSA) programme, which sees the Chamber, businesses and schools working together to host employment-themed events aimed at preparing young people for the world of work. He also called on more companies to create apprenticeship schemes.
He said: “I would like to see more firms taking on apprenticeships and creating opportunities. A key part of this is bridging the gap between business and education – as we are doing with the DSA – to ensure that young people are reading for the world of work and understand the opportunities available.”
Meanwhile, striking the right balance between supporting major projects alongside established, smaller businesses is also a key challenge.
Mr Fell said: “Big projects are important to Doncaster and the Chamber is very supportive of the Rossington Inland Port, HS2 Training College and other key schemes. But big projects are not a panacea for the town and we need to ensure that we are also working hard to help our indigenous businesses and grow and continue the trend of encouraging more inward investment.”
He added: “The Chamber’s membership currently covers around 60 per cent of private sector turnover in Doncaster. In terms of overall membership numbers we are at just under 800 which gives us the fifth best rate of the 50 plus chambers of commerce in the UK. I would like to see us top that list.”
He was unanimously appointed by the Chamber’s board of directors and takes over from previous CEO Phil Harris, who has retired after three years in the role.