Attendees from Windsor Forest Colleges Group, The Learning Curve, the University of Reading and the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce flocked to the event on Tuesday 8 November that began with a networking breakfast in the South Central Institute of Technology hub at the King’s Road campus.
CEO opens the conference
Gary Headland, Chief Executive of Activate Learning, opened the conference with a short speech before handing over to Alison Webster, Chief Executive of Berkshire LEP, who led the conference.
Bob Beveridge, Chair of Berkshire LEP spoke about the interventions that Berkshire LEP has untaken across Berkshire, over the last year.
Guest speaker, Journalist Duncan Weldon, who regularly writes for The Guardian and The Economist gave a challenging talk about the factors that are driving the cost of living crisis and how it is being felt across the UK.
Katharine Horler, Chair, Berkshire LEP Skills Advisory Panel and Chief Executive, Adviza, John Southern, Head of Product and Strategy, UPOWA, Nikki Cordell, CEO, Cordell Health, Simon Matthews, Interim Head of Infrastructure, Berkshire LEP and Lilly Hudson, Film Officer, Resource Productions took part in a panel discussion and answered questions from the audience.
After the conference finished, some attendees went on a tour of the college and saw our Applied Science Centre, Care Skills Training Centre, Media Suite, Motor Vehicle, Construction and Esports facilities.
Helping organisations to grow
Gary Headland, Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said: “It was a great pleasure to host the LEP’s annual conference at Reading College.
“Berkshire LEP understands organisations and how to help them to be more innovative and resilient to help them grow.
“The LEP has provided funding for several of our facilities at Reading College, including our Applied Science Centre, Care Skills Training Centre and the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Skills Hub, which are important to our students as an investment in both the college, our teachers and their future.”
A brilliant turnout
Alison Webster, Chief Executive of Berkshire LEP said: “We had a brilliant turn out for our first in person Annual Conference since the Covid-19 pandemic, and my first since I joined the LEP in March 2020.
“The conference was an opportunity to showcase what the LEP with our unique partnerships has been able to achieve from investment in skills and infrastructure which enable the creation of jobs providing business support.
“We also looked to the future beyond the current economic challenges to encourage future thinking and spark ideas that will help supercharge the Berkshire economy and drive the UK’s economic recovery.
“We were delighted to host the event at one of our established FE Colleges in Berkshire, Reading College, and had the pleasure of welcoming Duncan Weldon, journalist and economist as our keynote speaker and a host of great panel speakers discussing the cost of living crisis.”
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