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Free information event explores developing future business talent

26 February 2019

A free networking and information event will set out how businesses can work with education providers to address future skills gaps.  

Leading education provider Activate Learning is hosting a T Levels (new vocational qualification) breakfast briefing on Thursday 21 March, 8-10.30am at The Green Park Conference Centre, Reading.

Continuing falls in unemployment levels, Brexit uncertainty and potential limitations on migrant workers could impact negatively on an already widening Berkshire skills gap.

And advances in technology will mean that some jobs will disappear completely, replaced by completely new and different skill sets.

It is therefore essential that education providers work with business to develop the attributes that young people need to succeed in the workplace now and in the future.

The breakfast briefing will introduce the new T Levels that are being phased in from next year, and which will be the equivalent to three A-levels but with a more technical or vocational focus. Current industry placement opportunities will also be highlighted.

Gemma Hood, Chief Operating Officer from Volume (, the Thames Valley Tech Employer of the Year 2018 and a Sunday Times 100 Best Small Company in 2018, will talk about working with learners. There will also be plenty of networking opportunities, with confirmed attendees including the biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust and major independent hospitality caterer CH&CO.

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Priority Statement found that skills shortages exist in all corners of the labour market, but are particularly concentrated in STEAM* roles (primarily digital tech and engineering) along with certain roles in construction, health and social care, hospitality, transport and distribution, and education.

The event will demonstrate the benefits to all types of businesses engaging with education to develop a talent pipeline and encourage sustainable growth.

Neil Edwards, Activate Learning’s Group Director for Commercial Support said: “We are inviting Thames Valley Berkshire businesses to join us and explore opportunities for developing our future workforce together.

“Industry placements and T Levels are not simply an education issue. They are needed to train young people in the skills that will benefit all of us in one way or another, whether that be through a need for social care, using new technology at work and in the home, or living in a prosperous economic region.

“We are very much looking forward to exploring opportunities with new partners at this event.”

It is being held in association with the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

*Science, technology, engineering, arts and maths