Key takeaways from the Skills for Growth Conference by Jane Rexworthy, Chair of the UK Skills Partnership.
The inaugural ‘Skills for Growth’ conference took place last month. Hosted by the Department for Education and the Department for Business and Trade, supported by UKSP Member Organisation WorldSkills UK, at the QE11 Conference Centre, the conference aimed to demonstrate how we can do more on skills together.
The Secretary of State for Education, the RT Hon Gillian Keegan welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP to speak as part of the conference session designed for CEOs or equivalents: Winning the race for talent: skills development means growth for your business.
His contribution complemented the important perspectives shared from senior business leaders on how the skills system is supporting their wider business strategy, and how they are filling their talent pipeline in this challenging context. Two Non-Executive Members of the Department for Education Board, Richard Pennycook and Sir Peter Bazalgette helped to shape the event and highlighted the importance of industry and government working together to grow our future talent workforce.
Other MPs present included Kemi Badenoch MP, Secretary of State for Department for Business and Trade; Robert Halfon MP, Department for Education Minister of State (Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education), Kevin Hollinrake MP, Department for Business and Trade Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business).
“It’s a challenging environment for all businesses to recruit, tackle acute skills shortages and build a talent pipeline for the future. But there is a great opportunity to shape and scale our skills system so that it helps to deliver a productive, competitive economy of the future.” – Richard Pennycook
This chimes with a recent report from Skills for Prosperity on Investing in TVET and Skills Development in which they state that the link between individual needs, social equity and economic development should not be taken for granted and that skills are broadly understood as an essential driver of both economic and social progress