Tomorrow’s workforce – where are we going to find the talent?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Business
Tomorrow’s workforce – where are we going to find the talent?

Every business wants to grow. But with an acute skills shortage in Norfolk and Suffolk, where are we going to find new workers? I’ve been talking to New Anglia LEP’s Iain Dunnett, and followed that up with the Skills Summit in Norwich this week.

I wanted to know why we’ve still got a skills shortage, when we have plenty of bright young people in our region. We’d had a very similar conversation just a year ago – are things getting better, worse or just the same? And what can local businesses do to help to develop a good quality workforce for the future?

Iain’s been telling me about the New Anglia LEP skills summits, which aim to tackle the long-term problems: young people who aren’t getting the careers advice they need; following the wrong training paths; and the lack of connection between young people, education/training providers and local businesses.

After that conversation I made time to go along to the Norwich Skills Summit this week. I’m glad I did. It was tremendously productive – good presentations to set the context of the skills gap, followed by workshops that got right down to the practicalities, bringing together people from schools, higher education and a wide range of business sectors. Perhaps the strongest messages we all took away was that careers information has to start much earlier than mid-way through secondary school – it’s got to be in primary school – and businesses have to send the right people into school, people who pupils can relate to, not the usual cliched corporate presenters.Button Text

Here’s the full conversation with Iain Dunnett.

There’s lots to be done, but at least we are all confronting the issues head-on.