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Peterborough’s first ever Skills Summit proved to be a huge success, with over 120 attendees from across the city coming together to discuss how they can build a strong and well-equipped future workforce.
This was the first time a skills summit had been executed at a city level, rather than regionally and the groundbreaking event engaged many local businesses and students alike in discussions on skills, work experience, apprenticeships and ongoing development.
The event saw the launch of three major projects that will play a pivotal role in strengthening the city’s workforce; the Peterborough Skills Vision, which encourages local businesses to work together to create a positive environment for skills growth; University Centre Peterborough’s Bitesize Learning in Leadership and Management aimed at continuing professional development through learning and the National Apprenticeship Service’s (NAS) Peterborough 100 in 100 campaign, which will challenge local employers to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.
The Summit, which will become an annual event, was packed with discussion groups and practical information on upskilling our local workforce, addressing the city’s skills gap and an overview of funding available for skills development.
The event also got businesses and students from city schools and colleges talking about work experience and how it can be improved for the benefit of both parties in the Big Conversation. A business administration apprentice at City College Peterborough said:
“The whole event was very enjoyable and it was good to hear from people who have gone from nothing to becoming something and explaining how they’ve worked up to owning their own companies over the course of their lives. It was really useful for both learners and businesses.”
Sue Addison, Skills Vision Coordinator from Winning Leaders said: “The event was a great success and there was a real buzz in the room for both the morning and afternoon events. The feedback we got from the businesses involved will be used to develop plans for taking forward the skills agenda in Peterborough. Having so many businesses sign up to the launch of the Peterborough Skills Vision gives us a real opportunity for local businesses to start to influence what is both funded and delivered for skills in the City. It is exciting to be involved in something that has such potential to make a difference.”
Following the Summit, forty businesses have already pledged their support to the Skills Vision. Neil Darwin, director of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough said;
“We’re really pleased with the rapid response to the Skills Vision. It’s a positive sign that businesses in the city are backing this initiative and are keen to work together in strengthening Peterborough’s workforce.”
He added; “All the projects launched will be significant in building our skills levels and we’re very excited to see how our skills agenda will progress over the coming months.”