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Organisations come together to boost skills in Coventry

Published Monday, 23 April 2018

Coventry’s second annual Skills Summit took place last week at the Ricoh Arena, seeing over 40 organisations attend to discuss developing Coventry’s skills set for the future workforce.

Skills summit 1

The event, hosted by Coventry City Council and hosted at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday 17 April, bought together more than 65 people from 40 organisations, including businesses, training providers and the education sector.

The focus for the summit was on a joint, collaborative approach to Coventry's workforce having the right skills to ensure the current and future workforce can continue to develop to be productive, creative and innovative. Speeches covered topics including the rise of the gaming and automotive industries, the importance of seeing through stereotypes that people returning to work can face and how schools can encourage and guide students to explore different career options.

Speakers at the event included Ian O'Donnell MBE, Director of the Federation of Small Businesses, Martin Yardley, Deputy Chief Executive at Coventry City Council, Jane Benton, Principal at Westwood Academy, Claire Brough, the Skills and Employment Manager at Laing O'RourkeMurphy Joint Venture and Fleur Sexton, Managing Director at PET-Xi.

During the event, Ian O'Donnell said: "The majority of business are small business, which could benefit greatly from skilled apprentices. One of the biggest challenges is how businesses can retain those skilled employees once they've finished their apprenticeships and working on improving our employees' skills while they're with us."

Speaking after the event, Martin Yardley said: "It was great to see so many businesses from Coventry coming together to work towards helping secure good career options and skills opportunities for young people in the city."

"Coventry's innovative and technical industries are growing rapidly and we're seeing an increase in the need for skilled young people, so it's fantastic that Coventry's businesses are dedicated to helping make sure there are paths young people can take to develop their skills and careers."

Delegates and speakers tweeted throughout the event using #CoventrySkills

  • @ClaireBrough - Great opportunity presenting at and being part of Coventry City Council's Skills Summit. Excellent morning of information and debates working to drive forward the skills agenda! #coventryskills
  • @FleurSexton - Fabulous inspiring words from Martin Yardley @coventrycc #coventryskills about the Skills challenge for us as one of the top performing LEPs as future demand for labour outstrips population growth. The key is training! #coventryskills
  • @question1365 - #coventryskills interesting insight into what schools are doing to get our young people ready for the world of employment
  • @ianodonnell - Exciting stories from #Coventry schools doing things differently to create better futures for our young people #CoventrySkills

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