AS the school holidays draw to an end with the welcome return of the sun it is of course exam result time.

I’d like to add my congratulations to all of the teachers, schools, colleges, parents and, most of all, the students in Swindon who have worked so hard to achieve their GCSE results.

There are lots of considerations for businesses when they make investment decisions but the most common things that are cited is the quality of the locally available workforce and education standards.

Businesses plan for the medium and long term and want confidence that the future workforce is going to come through the education system. Not only that but when they seek to attract people from outside of Swindon to work they need to show that this is great place to move to, to bring up a family, to send your children to school.

Swindon has a proud tradition of learning and innovation and if we are to retain and attract the best organisations it must continue to demonstrate this. Our schools are rising to the challenge and it has been a great pleasure to meet some of the inspirational head teachers we have in Swindon who have signed up to be Switch on to Swindon ambassadors.

There are some fantastic examples of the education sector and businesses working together in Swindon and I believe we need to forge even stronger connections. We can help our young people understand what it is to be work ready when you leave education.

We can help them to understand the range of opportunities available to them and how best to fulfil their potential. In short we can work together to inspire our young people and this is where Swindon has a distinct advantage over other places.

Inspiration lies around every corner in Swindon. We are home to some of the biggest and best companies in the world who are pioneers in their field – Nationwide, Intel, Honda, BMW, Patheon, and Catalent. I could fill this column with names but just go to to see for yourself.

We are home to a thriving SME sector and have entrepreneurs who are not only driving Swindon’s economy but becoming internationally renowned in a variety of fields from coding, virtual reality, digital mapping, 3D printing and engineering. Only last week Swindon hosted the Hydrogen Car Show at Lydiard Park because we have, and continue to be at the forefront of Hydrogen fuel technology. We are home to a creative sector that has produced award winning film makers, dancers, artists, musicians and singers.

If all that wasn’t enough Swindon is also home to an incredible research and innovation sector. One of the themes of the Switch on to Swindon campaign is shining a light on Swindon’s hidden gems. Well, right across the railway line sits a great big rough cut diamond. Swindon is home to the nations seven research councils including the UK Space Agency, who I am delighted to say are newly signed up ambassadors.

Talk to anybody in who works in education and they will say it is a combination of teaching, nurturing and inspiring. I look forward to helping creating stronger connections between business and education so we can open eyes to the possibilities and inspire our young people.