More needs to be done to sell the benefits of studying and working in Cumbria to young people, according to a legal boss.

Jamie Allison, head of Cumbria at regional law firm Napthens - which has an office in Kendal - made the comments while speaking with Cumbria Tourism managing director Gill Haigh and John Houghton of Kirkby-Lonsdale-based construction consultancy A Lamb Associates.

The conversation was recorded for a series of podcasts produced by the firm named 'Brief Conversations with Napthens'.

Jamie said: “Businesses in Cumbria are growing steadily. However, the one thing we habitually hear from employers is that there is a real problem recruiting and retaining talent.

“A key priority to unlock the area’s potential is to reduce the drain of young talent moving away from the region to big cities by creating an integrated offer that sells Cumbria as an attractive place to work and live, as well as to visit.

“The county has plenty to offer, but affordable housing and better connectivity, with a joined-up approach to promoting the local benefits and opportunities of living here can have a big impact on growing the local talent pool.”

Gill said: “There is some great work going on within schools and colleges and the HE sector within Cumbria and growing support for a more joined-up approach between the education sector and employers to further raise the profile of the industry and its varied career and development opportunities available to our young people.

“Affordability and availability of housing is also a big issue. We need to increase the amount of affordable housing that there is in the region, so that people can afford to buy a house and live here.

“We also need better mobile and digital connectivity so that young creatives can base their businesses here throughout the week and easily deal with clients across the country.”

John added that a focus on the benefits and career opportunities within the hospitality sector was also needed: “The leisure industry can have quite a transient workforce and isn’t generally seen as a career.

“However, delivering good service is a necessary profession and more of an emphasis should be placed on the benefits and progression available within the sector.”