Doncaster Voices: Encouraging more young people to choose careers

Official opening of the Nation College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster
Official opening of the Nation College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster

Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to Your views may appear here next week when topic is “How to encourage more people to volunteer within community?”

Mark Sykes, Pharmacist at Weldricks

As a major employer in Doncaster, it’s always been our ethos to attract young people from the area to pursue a career with us. There are hundreds of interesting careers out there and, if a youngster wants a medical career, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have to become a doctor or a dentist. The world of pharmacy has so much to offer – numerous interesting and rewarding pathways – and we always have vacancies to fill. From pharmacy assistant or technician to roles in our Doncaster head office or warehouse, we welcome CVs from school leavers to graduates and post-graduates. Progression and training are key at Weldricks too. Over the years we’ve had pharmacy assistants who’ve left to study for a degree in pharmacy and then come back to us. We positively encourage career development.

John Magee, centre manager, Lakeside Village

We need to do more to shout about great places there are to work in Doncaster. We recently worked with Doncaster College to talk to their students about why retail matters and the impact a strong retail offer has on a town. We know thousands of people here are employed in retail. We need to showcase opportunities this brings. A career in retail can be extremely rewarding. There are so many opportunities out there. By working together, we can make a real difference and showcase variety of roles people can have in retail and other thriving sectors in town. Doncaster, with great leisure offering and very busy logistics hub, now has fantastic National College for High Speed Rail. We need to shout about our successes and promote positives of people growing careers in this area.

Nuala Fennelly, DMBC Cabinet Member, Children, Young People and Schools

We have some great opportunities for young people in Doncaster and must encourage and support them to aim high and have bold aspirations. We aspire to become a university city. Doncaster College now offers university level degrees and new National College for High Speed Rail has opened its doors, educating young people and instrumental in supporting Doncaster’s growing rail sector by providing firms with a skilled and agile workforce, capable of delivering future infrastructure projects. In Doncaster we are providing young people with practical routes into the career of their choice. We are not saying to young people that they have to follow their career in Doncaster. However, we are providing them with the tools and opportunities for well-paid employment right here in Doncaster.

Clair Mowbray, chief executive, National College for High Speed Rail

The key is to promote and develop what Doncaster is already good at. Doncaster’s rail industry is a perfect example. The town is well known for its contribution to Britain’s railways. This can overshadow fact there are still more than 20 rail companies based in the town. Many offer opportunities for young people and connect Doncaster, not only to the rest of the UK, but globally. Companies like Rhomberg Sersa, Hitachi and VolkerRail, all based here, have international operations. Young people need to be confident they can gain skills required for their chosen industry in Doncaster. This is why National College for High Speed Rail (pictured) has been developed here. Led by employers, it is the critical link needed to ensure skills and knowledge they gain can help build Britain’s railways and infrastructure in 21st century.

Bill Morrison, East Doncaster Development Trustees Chair

Good question, simple answer more, modern industry. We have nothing apart from the Rail College at the moment that promises a career. Retail and hospitality has merits but it is not everything. What we need is more manufacturers, technology is here to stay, we need to look at attracting those sort of industries to provide employment and career choices. New technological business should be encouraged with first class start up packages to encourage and excite the minds of young entrepreneurs. To my mind this is where we should start with the so called Northern Power House. Successive Governments have concentrated on developing our cities and drawing away from the towns our best and brightest talent. Look back at what Doncaster had Harvesters, Burtons, numerous light engineering works and we let it go, we need to find the fight within us to bring it all back. To move forward look back.

Aidan Nicol, Doncaster Youth Councillor

I believe it would be most effective to target young people during their early teenage years, as this is the prime age that we develop our interests and passions. Being from Doncaster, I have at times felt restricted in terms of career choice, and it has been primarily due to my proactivity that I am confident in the career I wish to pursue. To address issues like this, we must give young people exposure to wider opportunities, and supply them with a pallet of

different colours to choose from. We also need more innovative external companies to engage with young people. Despite these issues, we must acknowledge the exciting new developments that are taking place at present, such as the National College for High Speed Rail and Doncaster New College. Actively, young people in Doncaster should embrace these opportunities and utilise them at their utmost.

* Why not get involved by submitting 150 words with name, title & photo to on next week’s topic “How can we encourage more Doncaster folk to become active?” while we also welcome all your suggested future Voices forum subjects.