Cambridgeshire schools and businesses unite to discuss skills issues


Tuesday 13 March 2018



Form the Future CIC held their Annual Conference at Linton Village College for nearly 100 delegates from schools and businesses across Cambridgeshire, with a focus on what the 21st century skills are that businesses need and how to ensure that students are suitably equipped with them.

The event also gave an opportunity for schools and businesses to discuss the Government’s new careers strategy, which suggests that schools should have a dedicated careers leader and provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with businesses every year, with a particular focus on employers from STEM industries to help deliver the high-skilled workers we need in these industries.

Rachel Stopard, CEO of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), gave a keynote speech which highlighted the skills gaps in the region and how we need to provide young people with access to opportunities to ensure a highly motivated and skilled workforce in the future.

Mark Dawe, CEO of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), followed up with a timely presentation about the importance of apprenticeships, as it is National Apprenticeship Week. He shared fantastic success stories of apprentices from a range of industries and organisations, such as Barclays and Amazon.

The delegates then had the opportunity to take part in workshops that ranged from learning about Gatsby Benchmarks and the role of Enterprise Advisors, to how businesses can improve STEM outreach and provide additional support to students through mentoring and work experience.

Rachel Stopard said: “Greater Cambridge is the fastest growing City region in the UK – bringing fantastic opportunities for our young people to have exciting and fulfilling careers. And yet businesses consistently tell us that they struggle to recruit. So only by working together with education and learning providers will we be able to equip young people with the skills businesses need for their future growth. Form the Future is helping us bridge that gap, and make the connections for truly business-led solutions.”

Anne Bailey, Co-founder and Director of Form the Future CIC, said: “It was great to see the high levels of engagement from schools and businesses. We hope everyone will reach out to their networks and encourage even more people to get involved as volunteers for the many events we have coming up in the next weeks and months.”