Suffolk and Norfolk: Business leaders contribute to regional skills blueprint

Andy Wood

Andy Wood - Credit: Archant

Business leaders have poured their wisdom into a region-wide blueprint aimed at driving forward the economy by shoring up skills.

During the second New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Summit, about 150 delegates representing firms from across Norfolk and Suffolk came together in a meeting of minds to tackle pressing questions facing skills development.

The event, held last night at Carrow Road, split people into workshops to tackle three key topics: Business Engagement: five year olds to degree level, the skills gaps, and employability.

It came on a 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.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia LEP, 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.

“What I am trying to do is to bring together educationalists and the business world to plan a strategy that takes leadership, that is committed to delivery, and provides a focus that can be used in the region in a coherent and sensible way.”

Meanwhile, Chloe Smith, the MP for Norwich North, said the summit needed to shape the next generation of careers for young people, while providing a strategy which can help the economy to grow.

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Speakers included Dick Palmer, group chief executive of TEN Group, Dr Wood of the New Anglia LEP, Ms Smith, and Digsby Chacksfield, learning manager at The Eastern Enterprise Hub.