Jay Bhayani, Solicitor and Managing Director, Bhayani Law

I would like to encourage more of a conversation around the theme of Sheffield being “a fantastic place to work” in 2018.

I’d like to see Sheffield growing in its attractiveness to young people. I grew up in Leicester and have been in Sheffield for the last 27 years – it is very much home to me and my teenage kids.

I recall when I was a junior lawyer, however, I compared Sheffield to other cities where my friends had found jobs, and realise I never felt a strong enough sense of pride in the city I had chosen as a workplace. I loved the fact that people were friendly and welcoming and it was close to the Peak District … but it didn’t feel like a city.

Things have moved on considerably and today I am very proud of many of the things we have around us now. The bars and restaurants, theatres, clubs and the emergence of outdoor street events are all great.

I still feel there is work to do to attract and retain the right talent and offer them a great experience as a city to develop their career. As an employment lawyer, I have represented many businesses who portray a positive picture of growth, but skills shortages and attracting the right candidate is not easy.

Millennials are the city’s largest generation, making up 29% of the population. They are sought after and if we are to persuade businesses to locate, invest and grow in Sheffield, we have to offer them a cohort of great young people. Sheffield is in a good position to do this with the two universities, for certain types of jobs.

The challenge is in developing those that are not entering higher education. As a governor at Sheffield College I know of the strides we are making in upskilling and employability of young people and am delighted to see the success of young people who have taken a different path to work, either through apprenticeships or entrepreneurialism.

Millennials are apparently motivated by a lot more than pay, so I would like to see businesses in Sheffield at the forefront of embracing the areas we can hold up as an example of workplace initiatives which attract this generation.

That means wellbeing, flexible working, good childcare, gender pay parity, the use of technology in business and a positive workplace culture. This, coupled with the existing benefits of an easy commute, a green city and vibrant after-work life, is what I would like to see more of in 2018!

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