Employment and Skills Event


Last Wednesday (3 July), we held an Employment and Skills stakeholders event, which was attended by 76 people from across a range of private and public organisations.

The event supports a series of discussions on how we are working in partnership with partners and stakeholders to deliver employment and skills provision to support economic growth here in Central Bedfordshire. 

Presentations and interactive sessions were held on how we can work with local businesses and stakeholders to support the priorities set out in Central Bedfordshire’s All Age Skills Strategy. The strategy aims to respond to employer needs; provide employer-informed careers advice to help young people and adults make informed decisions; and support our vulnerable residents; and maximise work-based learning, such as apprenticeships.

Speaking as part of the Panel Session, ‘Skills requirements: Now and in the Future’, Katie Nightingale, Head of Early Careers at Kier Group (see picture), said: “It was a pleasure to be part of a panel at the event, where I was able to share an employer’s view on the skills needed for the future workforce in collaboration with providers. I heard some great insights and positive steps to be taken to develop the diverse, creative, agile and digital-enabled workforce of the future.”

Jodie Yandall, Head of our Investment and Employment in the Regeneration and Business team, said: “In an increasingly competitive world, skills have a critical role to play. Individuals need skills to enable them to secure and progress in employment, and businesses need a skilled workforce to stimulate and encourage productivity and innovation. Skills also support the local economy to compete nationally and internationally. So, as a council, we work in partnership with employers to support lifelong skills and underpin local employment. 

“At the event, we shared our work to develop a new shared vision for Central Bedfordshire’s future to inform future council policies, strategies and plans. As key partners and stakeholders, it is vital that we work together  to shape this.”

The Panel also included guest speakers Justin Richard, Chief Executive of the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce; Jim Knighton, Senior Partnership Manager for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire at  the Department of Work and Pensions; and Paul Thompson, Employer and Skills Manager, SEMLEP

Central Bedfordshire’s skilled local workforce has attracted and retained world-class organisations and international businesses including Amazon, AS Watson, Cranfield University, Signature Flatbreads, Jordans Ryvita, Kier, Lockheed Martin, Millbrook Proving Ground, Nissan Technical centre, Vinci and Whitbread. Our skilled population also provides an ideal resource base for small and growing businesses.

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