An innovative training event took place today (Thursday 14th September) at City Hall, Leicester to raise awareness of the variety of opportunities in sectors across the LLEP area, and to enhance education- business links within local schools, colleges and academies.
The event was open to teachers, school heads and career leads who engaged in a series of inspiring activities. Mike Durban, LLEP Head of Strategy, opened the event by giving a labour market update. Anna Cyhan, LLEP Economic Growth and Investment Officer (skills), then gave an update about some useful resources that can help young people to explore the labour market.
This was followed by an update on the changing careers landscape and the impact of robotics on the future workforce by Helen Smith (Head of Careers) and Dr Laura Justham (Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Automation) from Loughborough University.
Dr. Gareth Thomas, MD, Skills and Employment Support Ltd also gave a session on effective employer engagement techniques.
To roundup the event there was an employer led sector update, where seven local employers each took to the stage to give an overview on their sector; this was facilitated by Professor Tristram Hooley, Director of Research at the Careers and Enterprise Company.
The variety of employers who took part included Gwyn Stubbing of IDI Gazeleys, Magna Park, Sharon Baines from University Hospitals Leicester NHS, Ian Goodhead from Winvic (working on the Roxhill site), Sonia Norman from Caremark, Mark Colton from Highcross Leicester, Camilla Nash from Santander and Lee Sheldon, representing the National Space Academy.
The LLEP coordinated the event as part of a wider agenda to better link education and local businesses, and also to raise awareness of the labour market resources that schools and colleges tap into.
Anna Cyhan, LLEP Economic Growth and Investment Officer (skills) and organiser of the event said, “It was an insightful morning and it was an incredible turnout. Over 75 school and college careers leads, heads and teachers attended this event to hear our latest skills and labour market update.”
“I’ve had some excellent feedback from delegates about how inspiring they found it to hear from local employers. Alongside this they gained practical solutions for employer engagement to enhance the curriculum and are more aware of resources that can be used to advise students about future labour market trends.’’
Marion Plant OBE, LLEP Board lead for People (skills) said, “Many local businesses are reporting skills gaps and hence it is vital to support activities to better link industry and education. It was excellent that so many schools took the opportunity to attend this event, which will enable them to inspire their students by engaging with employers to ‘bring the curriculum to life’ and to develop students’ awareness of the world of work. I am also delighted that an array of such fantastic local employers gave their time to take part. ”
“Alongside this, the growing Enterprise Adviser Network in the LLEP area continues to prosper; a flagship initiative where a network of ‘Enterprise Advisers’ work one-to-one with school and college leaders to improve enterprise education, drawing on their own business connections. I am delighted that we have an excellent grounding to greatly expand local business and education links activity.’’
Di Featherstone, Careers Adviser at John Ferneley College said, “What a fantastic event. I really enjoyed today and learnt some practical tips about developing employer links, as well as a good overview what’s happening in the area. I was really interested in the employability skills that guest speakers mentioned; a lot of this information is very valuable for all teachers. There is also the added value of networking and sharing good practice with other schools and colleges. ‘’
The Careers and Enterprise Company part sponsored the event. This umbrella organisation supports a range of initiatives, including the Enterprise Adviser network. The LLEP has already recruited over 40 Enterprise Advisers whom are senior level, influential business volunteers who are passionate about connecting young people to the world of work. They are each matched with a schools or colleges from across Leicester and Leicestershire. If you are a business or school who would like to get involved in this programme, please contact: Gerarde Manley Gerarde.Manley@llep.org.uk
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