“This is a region where you can make your mark. I have seen many extraordinary changes in my 25 years here – from increased connectivity and major businesses making their home in the region, to the development of Brindleyplace and the ICC, and the ongoing Paradise and Arena Central advances and Grand Central at New Street station, providing a powerful first impression for visitors to the city.
“In fact, this is my third tour of duty in Birmingham. Previously in Cardiff I took on a similar role and as PwC is a significant investor in the city, it felt like the right time to take over as chair of the West Midlands Growth Company. Last December saw the topping out ceremony of One Chamberlain Square, where we’ll be relocating our existing 1,400 strong workforce and will have the capacity for 1,000 more.
“At PwC we are committed to bringing 2,300 jobs to the region by 2020. This is a significant move for PwC and one of the largest regional investments we have made in the UK. As a business we want to make most of fast growing regions like Birmingham and the West Midlands.
“We want to grow our workforce by recruiting local school leavers, young apprentices and graduates, rather than encouraging people to relocate. The level of talent is unprecedented and this is the only region where we could have grown our own workforce. A key area for our recruitment efforts are within technology. We see demand for technology skills from businesses already reaching critical levels and this is only set to increase. This is our chance to build a diverse and inclusive pipeline of technology talent from local universities, colleges and schools, which will help position UK businesses at the forefront of innovation and investment in the future.
"To support this agenda, we have recently partnered with the STEMettes, a social enterprise initiative working across the UK to inspire and support young women into Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. We are also very proud of our partnership with the University of Birmingham on technology degree apprenticeships - an exciting way for us to start to grow the future of the UK’s technology industry and open up these careers to a wide range of students, offering a clear pathway to meet the skills demands of the future.
“I look forward to supporting the organisation as it strives to become the leading regional investment promotion and economic development agency, unlocking potential for the West Midlands and the UK.”
Matthew is Regional Chairman at PwC and is also Senior Partner at the firm’s Birmingham office. He is well known for his contributions to the professional services sector locally and nationally. Matthew, who has over 25 years’ experience at PwC, is currently leading a team of over 1,800 client specialists from offices in Birmingham, East Midlands and Milton Keynes.