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Employability and Skills Summit - 2019

Delivering against the Chamber goal to "Support the development of current and future workforce in the East Midlands" the 2019 Summit will show how the region can address this challenge with the aim of developing an environment where there is a bright future for our local economies, communities, young people and those furthest away from the job market.


Detail taken from the Chamber's Q1 Quarterly Economic Survey shows:

  • Investment intentions - we are seeing a downward trend across the board, of particular concern is businesses intentions to invest in training - this score is the lowest it has been since immediately after the referendum in the summer of 2016 and comes at a time when recruitment difficulties continue to rise.
  • 60% of businesses are reporting difficulties in recruitment. These results came during a quarter when unemployment in the East Midlands continued to rise (as opposed to the rest of the country where it is falling) suggesting local issues not being experienced elsewhere in the UK.
  • When asked which factors were more of a concern than 3 months ago "Access to skilled labour" remains consistently high on employer's agendas.

On the Day

The Summit is aimed at business representatives - particularly those individuals responsible for the HR function within their organisation - business owners, representatives from the education sector, policy makers and business representation organisations.

Through a number of keynote presentations, panel discussions and workshops the Summit will explore the implications of the survey findings, focusing on two key themes: Bridging the Gap: Improving the link between education and employers and How do we deliver the workforce employers in the East Midlands demand.



  • Setting the scene: Envisioning the Future of Education and Jobs: Trends, data and drawings - Dr Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel the Head of Education and Employer's Research
    In conjunction with the OECD, this landmark report looks at how to prepare the leaders of the future for the challenges and opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution. Concluding that the skills mismatch observed in the labour market has its roots in primary school, and that giving all children, regardless of gender and social background, the same chance to meet professionals in a variety of fields is the key to widening their view of the world of work.
  • Career-Related Learning: Why Primary? - Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE
    Why engaging young people at an early age is paramount to making a step change in linking young people to the careers of the future and the realities of labour market demands.  
    Dr Hughes is a senior consultant specialising in careers, employment and skills policies, research and practice at a national, EU and international level.Expert adviser with UK Ministerial appointment to advise governments in the four home nations on careers, employment and skills' policies, research and practice.
    She has a distinguished record as an academic researcher, lecturer and trainer in the fields of career development and public policies, employment, skills and labour market studies.

  • Education and Business: Working in Partnership - Marion Plant OBE - Principal & CEO North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College, CEO of the Midland Academies Trust - 
    Education and employers want the same thing, but are we speaking the same language?The view from secondary schools and Further Education (FE) - exploring the challenges the secondary education and FE sector experience when engaging with employers, an inward look on what the education sector needs to do to ensure that they are engaging with employers in a meaningful way and in turn what can business do better.Marion is the Principal and Chief Executive of a cross-border general FE College North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, the Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools. In 2018 Marion completed a 3 year term as a non-executive Director at the Department for Education. In March 2018 was awarded the 'Business Woman of the Year Award' by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. In addition Marion also serves on several national/ regional bodies including:
    Programme Board member for Leicester and Leicestershire Local  
    Enterprise Partnership (LLEP)Board member and skills lead for Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)
    Board member of Coventry University and co-chair of the Academic Affairs committee
    Deputy Chair and Trustee of World
    Skills UK
    Member of the Education & Skills Funding Agency Advisory Group.

  • Panel no.1: How do employers and education work closer together to develop mutually beneficial outcomes
    Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE, Chief Executive, Morningside Pharmaceuticals
    Tony Carr, UK Operations Manager, Caterpillar
    Louise Curd, Director of Programmes, Learn by Design

Workshops: Two sets of workshop options, with a choice of one of six options in each set, workshops include:

  • Smart Working Revolution - A lively session on the experiences of how to implement flexible working in your business
  • Education and Skills Funding Agency - Update on the forthcoming T Levels and what this means for employers
  • Inspiring Governance - Discover the business case for encouraging staff to become a school governor 
  • RSM UK- Managing employees in a shrinking world, exploring how organisations achieve the right balance between meeting the needs of an increasingly agile workforce, where country boundaries no longer determine where employees work
  • LLEP - Launching a new snapshot Employer Handbook that helps employers to engage with education and training, whatever their size.
  • Loughborough University - Skills for the future, including a focus on the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Loughborough University - Development of Higher Level Apprenticeships, focussing on Business Apprenticeships and Systems Engineering Apprenticeships 
  • Loughborough College - Employers Guide to Apprenticeships,   providing employers with the essential information and guidance to understand how Apprentices can benefit their business.
  • RDS Global - Exemplar business practice explored in the context of the story of how RDS has developed a strategy to develop IT solutions and a new product, RDS Black Box™, through development to market by highlighting the paramount need for planned recruitment and focused education and how that initiative has aided the offering for young people in the community.
  • Primary Futures Project /Learn by Design - engaging with your future workforce at an early age
  • Eileen Richards Recruitment - developing a modern recruitment strategy 


The business case - Leading by Example: How RDS Global Ltd develops its strategies to improve recruitment, retention, productivity and how it supports the community/young people

Andy Flinn, CEO and Charlotte Gray, Learning and Development Coordinator at RDS Global Ltd will present on the importance RDS place on their engagement with the education sector and the local community and how in doing so they have developed a strategy to develop their world class IT solutions.
This has enable them to take a new product through development to market by highlighting the paramount need for planned recruitment and focused education and how that initiative has aided the offering for young people in the community.

  • HS2 Ltd - How a large infrastructure project plans for attracting and developing skills needs - Mark Warrilow, Skills Manager (Skills, Employment and Education) 
    HS2 will be sharing best practice from HS2 Phase 1 in developing pipelines of talent and provide an overview of Skills, Employment & Education stakeholder engagement plans for HS2 Phase 2.
  • Panel no 2: How do we develop an inclusive recruitment strategy to support those furthest from the workplace? Looking at meaningful engagement and understanding the range of untapped talent available 
  • Close, Networking, Exhibitors and Buffet lunch 

Click Here to BOOK!


Date: Tuesday 9th July 2019
Time: 8:30am - 1:30pm 
Cost: For Members - £20+VAT & For Non-Members - £75+VAT
Venue: Loughborough University - West Park Teaching Hub, Loughborough