Construction, Engineering & Manufacturing Skills Conference

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Local Skills Improvement Plan
by Sarah Parrish

Construction, Engineering & Manufacturing (CEM) Skills Conference 2024

We were delighted to hold our first CEM Skills Conference on Wednesday 15th May at Bridgewood Manor Hotel & Spa.  Attended by over 100 delegates the day was a great opportunity to bring education and business together to discuss the skills challenges faced in these sectors identified as a priority in the Kent & Medway LSIP.

Our thanks goes to Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce CEO, Tudor Price for expertly hosting the day and steering our guests through the agenda, ensuring we remained on time throughout.

Attendees heard from a varied and engaging range of speakers and panel guests from across the sector spheres who each provided thought provoking information, advice and support, covering topics including a regional update on the skills perspective from Cabinet Members from our two Local Authorities, LSIP Strategic Lead and industry bodies Make UK and CITB.  Insights into the work being done to support these sectors by our Kent Further Education Providers.  Information and advice on how Supported Internships can unlock a diverse and inclusive talent pool and the sharing of best practice and experience from local employers around the importance of engaging with local education providers as well as how the new Careers and Enterprise Company Employer Standards Framework can help you do just that and more!

Huge thanks goes to Lauren Edwards from Medway Council, Derek Murphy from Kent County Council, Lucy Druesne of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Celine McGeown from CITB, Kerri-Anne Mruk from Make UK, Mark Andrews from North Kent College, David Knox from The Education People, Mark Rose from bemix, Liz Halton from Forward2Employment, Gary Allen Of Wire Belt Company Ltd, Jim Simpson from Knauf UK, Brad Levy from the Kent & Medway Careers Hub, Kieren Bussey of Richard Austin Alloys, Dominic Wade from People Plus, and Richard Wilde and Jane Burtenshaw from MidKent College – for your valued contributions.

Roundtable discussions proved fruitful, with conversations enabling collaboration and connections and the event has certainly ignited engagement between the many employers and education providers in our region pushing forward the skills agenda and the role of the LSIP to put employers at the heart of this conversation. This would not have been possible without the outstanding contribution from the attendees in the room on the day who were there in large numbers and we thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to finding solutions to address the skills challenges faced in these vital sectors.

Our final thanks go to the team behind the event; the LSIP Team, supported by colleagues from the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.