Haverhill Skills Forum event aims to forge stronger business-education links

The Haverhill Skills Forum event.
Picture: Gooderham PR

The Haverhill Skills Forum event. Picture: Gooderham PR - Credit: Archant

An initiative to foster stronger links between the business and education sectors in a Suffolk town has been hailed as a success.

The Haverhill Skills Forum event was organised with the aim of starting conversations between employers and organisations which plan and provide education in the town, for anyone from the ages to 16 to 60.

Issues discussed at the event included skills shortages facing businesses and how education providers could help to ensure that potential employees are more “work-ready” in the future.

The event was jointly organised by the One Haverhill Partnership and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Haverhill & District, with support from St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils, and was moderated by David Triggs of Renewable Education,

John Mayhew, chair of the One Haverhill Partnership and a board member of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Haverhill & District, said: “This joint initiative was a starting point to encourage local employers to begin a dialogue about the skills they will need in the future.

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“We want potential job candidates of all ages in Haverhill to be as work-ready as possible and this was a great opportunity to offer a platform for educationalists and the business community to start working much closer together.”

Also at the event, alongside representatives from local businesses and education providers, was West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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He said: “I was delighted to attend the Haverhill Skills Forum and formally welcome guests. “It is so important to have employer engagement and it is great to see a partnership growing between learning and the skills needed for work, both now and in the future.”

A business plan unveiled by the One Haverhill Partnerhsip last year identified improving educational opportunities, for young and old alike, as one of its key priorities.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce also recently launched a “manifesto” highlighting the need to bridge the worlds of education and work.

Alongside skills issues, broader subjects relevant to economic development, including broadband and transport links, were also discussed at the event.

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