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Support and education for young key to putting city of the word stage

Birmingham needs to support, train and educate its young people if the city is to stand a chance of competing on the world stage – and if the next generation is to contribute effectively to society, according to the outgoing chairman of The Lunar Society.

Waheed Saleem said it was incumbent on politicians and community leaders to promote positive role models – and every section of the community should play its part.

Mr Saleem’s remarks came as he stands down after completing his two-year term of office as chairman of the Birmingham-based Lunar Society.

Mr Saleem said the city must provide the right conditions for those with entrepreneurial spirit, in order to secure Birmingham’s future economic prosperity – creating jobs, providing the best education and placing the city on the world stage.

He said: “We need a clear economic strategy that enables us to plan the education and training programmes that will make the city and region attractive to inward investors and provide the conditions to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our city and region. For this to happen, the City Region requires powers and budgets from Central Government under a devolution settlement.

“Across all of society, we need to promote the positive role models in our communities, the individuals who feed the homeless, the elected politicians work tirelessly, the youth workers volunteering to provide activities for young people in their area.”

Mr Saleem is succeeded by Alan Wenban-Smith, who is shortly to release his ambitions for the Society which next years will mark the 250th year of its founding and which was re-founded over 20 years ago to encourage debate around all aspects of the development of Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond.

Mr Saleem also shared his concerns about encouraging the city to engage with all sections of its community, and suggested that the media and the Government must promote the positive contributions of the diverse population.

He concluded his speech with a desire for change, stating, “Let’s move at pace with finding tangible solutions to the issues and challenges we are facing, let’s learn from the best in the world and translate this into our area, let’s be bold. Let’s start a revolution in our thinking of how public services are delivered and managed.”

“Across all of society, we need to promote the positive role models in our communities, the individuals who feed the homeless, the elected politicians work tirelessly, the youth workers volunteering to provide activities for young people in their area.”