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Futures Forum has two new Co-Chairs at the helm

Futures Forum has two new Co-Chairs at the helm Karla Thomas and Adrian Naik

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is delighted to announce the new Co-Chairs of its Futures Forum.

The Forum is a diverse and inclusive group representing the interests of Cumbria’s younger people within the CLEP governance structure, which draws together hundreds of businesses alongside the public and voluntary and community sectors to consider the issues that matter to the economy and businesses.

It is made up of 18-35-year olds from across Cumbria covering a range of educational and vocational backgrounds, geographies and key sectors, so that it really does represent the county’s future.

The Forum ensures that the views of young people are taken seriously and represented at a strategic level in relation to the economic opportunities and challenges.

Its new Co-Chairs are:

  • Karla Thomas, Marketing Manager at Playdale Playgrounds Ltd., Haverthwaite.
    Karla said: "Cumbria is changing, developing and diversifying, yet still possesses vast reserves of untapped potential. The Forum is an exciting platform for the view of the younger generation to be voiced. Cumbria should lead Britain into its economic future. The Forum is a fantastic opportunity that will contribute to the discussion and debate with young leaders about how to shape our prospects and prosperity."
  • Adrian Naik, Naik Media, Bowness-on-Windermere.
    Born in Zimbabwe, Adrian moved to Cumbria to finish high school. Returning after University, he started his own video production company, Naik Media. He said: “The Futures Forum is packed with enthusiastic, passionate and talented young people, all of whom have a limitless drive to help Cumbria realise its fullest potential. I’m thrilled to be a part of this ambitious team, and so excited at the opportunity to work closer with every one of them.”

Karla and Adrian replace outgoing Co-Chairs Laura Kay and Mitchell McComb, who are standing down after serving for two years.

The Forum also has two new Vice-Chairs. They are:

  • Alice Longmire, Furness College.
    Alice is involved in the agricultural and educational sectors and said: “I am passionate that there are great opportunities within Cumbria, many of which I believe are overlooked. I hope that the Forum will encourage young people from all backgrounds and industries to put their views forward to help the future development of the county.”
  • Morgan Kasiera, Data Science Degree Apprentice at GlaxoSmithKline.
    Morgan said: “I was born, raised and still reside in Dalston. I joined the Futures Forum in order to further enhance the learning and development opportunities for young people, by making high level apprenticeships and higher skilled jobs more readily available. I also wanted to bring my specialist area to the Forum, namely in the field of data. I would hope that the further use of data will give additional insights into Cumbria and help drive decisions in Cumbria’s development.”

Alice and Morgan replace Karla and Daniel Thomas, who are stepping down from the Vice-Chairs’ role.

Professor Andrew Wren, CLEP’s Diversity Champion and Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College, said: “We’d like to offer our warm congratulations to these talented young individuals.

“The Futures Forum is proving an invaluable addition to our CLEP structure. Our young people are amongst the county’s most valuable assets and it is vital that their voice is heard as we plan the way forward for the county’s economy, particularly post-COVID.

“After all, it’s very much their futures that are at stake and I have been extremely impressed at the diligent and enthusiastic way in which the Forum is grasping the opportunity to play its part.”

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