December 6 2013 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Business leaders are exploring whether to target the next generation of employees at a younger age in order to make them work ready.
The idea was one of a series new approaches pitched at a new region-wide blueprint aimed at driving forward the economy by shoring up skills across Norfolk and Suffolk.
During the second New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Summit, about 150 delegates representing local firms came together in a meeting of minds to tackle pressing questions facing skills development.
The event, held at Carrow Road on Monday night, split people into workshops and encouraged them to share their wisdom on three key topics: Business engagement – five year olds to degree level; the skills gaps; and employability.
Ideas that emerged from the focus groups included: a series of roadshows held across schools to inform young people about career opportunities in the region; making businesses better at communicating with young people even if their job applications haven’t been successful; a need to change the curriculum to include work experience at a younger age, and making young people undergo trials at work to assess their skills and what they are interested in.
It came on Monday night when speakers issued a clarion call to the local business community, urging them to share their views on the best way to retain talent, give insightful career advice, and transform the partnership between education and business.
Speakers included, Dick Palmer, group chief executive of TEN Group; Dr Wood of the New Anglia LEP; Chloe Smith MP for Norwich North; and Digsby Chacksfield, learning manager at The Eastern Enterprise Hub.
Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia LEP, said the education and business world needed to take leadership on skills.
He said: “We need to retain the brightest and best operators on the patch. We need to ensure we deliver great careers advice – and that includes for the older generation as well.
He added: “The workshops created positive, lively discussions and some very interesting suggestions. As well as highlighting the need for business and education to work closer together, there were ideas about young people being introduced to the world of work at a much earlier age so that they can find out their areas of interest and what is expected of them by business. Businesses also need to take responsibility for helping young people more, giving them feedback and encouragement, even if their job applications have been unsuccessful.”
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