Mr Timms started his day with a walking tour of key city developments in Sheffield, to see how £100 million of government and EU funding is transforming the city centre. He visited training facilities at Construction Jobmatch South Yorkshire, which aims to tackle serious shortages of skilled labour in the local construction sector by employing and training people who are not traditionally considered for careers in construction including black and ethnic minorities, women and the long-term unemployed.
Whilst visiting Construction Jobmatch, Mr Timms said:
"The opportunities at JobMatch are excellent. The project is a shining example of what can be achieved when young people are given access to the right sort of training. The benefits for both the trainees and the local community are clear and I wish the trainees every success in their future careers."
The majority of trainees from ConstructionJobMatch are provided with the opportunity to work on the £669 million 'Decent Homes' programme managed by Sheffield Homes.
Mr Timms spent the afternoon in Bradford, meeting with members of the Asian Trade Link ATL (Yorkshire) Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation, which aims to promote accessible, quality and inclusive enterprise services to the socially excluded communities, with a specific focus on the Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
This visit incorporated a visit to Seafresh Wholesale Distributors, one of the largest distributors of ethnic food and drink products in the UK, and the Accent Training Centre, which operates a number of enterprise and training projects, with participants primarily from ethnic minority groups.
Mr Timms also visited Yorkshire Forward in Leeds to discuss economic development issues and explore the challenges and priorities for maintaining this growth in the region.