employability

Conference hears how digital upskilling and a human-first approach is key to developing resilient post pandemic future workforce

With demand for digital skills increasing by 36% in the last 12 months, digital upskilling in schools, colleges and businesses will be key to Chesterfield thriving post pandemic. That was the message from leaders at this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference.

At the virtual, live-streamed conference, it was revealed that the pandemic has brought digital skills to the forefront of work and education and opened up a number of exciting new employment opportunities in the low carbon economy.

Leaders speaking at the fifth annual conference stressed that collaboration between education providers and businesses is key to young people taking advantage of these opportunities post 16 and thriving in the workforce post pandemic.

Speaking at the conference Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 LEP said: “Covid has given us the impetus to push forward to use and develop technology to connect people and work better. However, we have to make sure that everyone can participate and make sure the connectivity exists and that everyone has the digital access and skills they need to succeed and thrive. Getting that connectivity right, for the economy and through into our education system is absolutely essential.”

Chesterfield College reported growth in the demand for digital skills in the area and has invested in a digital skills centre. James Lund, Interim Director of Sales at The Chesterfield College Group said: “Apprentice recruitment is starting to return to pre-Covid levels, and we anticipate digital skills being a growth area over the next two to three years. Similarly, we have also seen a growth in demand for apprenticeships in health and social care and construction.”

To ensure young people maximise the opportunities, headline speaker, author and former headteacher, Richard Gerver urged the conference to “look to our inner child in order to succeed and thrive in a post pandemic workforce.”

He said: “By changing our mindset and encouraging people to meet change and uncertainty with curiosity, awe, wonder and questioning rather than fear, young people will see the opportunities rather than obstacles.”

He warned of the long-term impact of change and uncertainty on the self-esteem of young people and urged people to remember the importance of softer skills alongside technical skills.

Mr Gerver added: “Covid has been the most horrific experience in most people’s lived experience but it won’t be the first or last time we have to cope with profound levels of change in our personal lives. All too often our reflex when dealing with a problem is to go direct to the technical or strategic solution, but we need to understand the human first and
that has never been more true than it is now, particularly when thinking about our future workforce.

“Dialogue between educators and businesses is more important than ever to support young people with career development. Real partnership is the key to success.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield reassured the conference that the council is committed to partnership working in order to ensure the future workforce have the post pandemic skills required by local employers.
She explained: “We’re not standing still in Chesterfield. We and our partners recognise that with change comes innovation and with challenge comes resilience. Building resilience and raising the aspirations of future generations is a priority for Chesterfield.

“Our aim is to continue to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure that our school and college leavers have the skills to access career opportunities available in the borough.”

The annual, free Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference is organised by Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, and Destination Chesterfield, and is open to businesses, schools and education providers from across North Derbyshire.

Chesterfield businesses that wish to work with the Careers Hub, provide work experience or workplace visit opportunities, recruit apprentices or upskill existing employees, are encouraged to get in touch with Emily Williams, Skills Delivery Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council by emailing Emily.Williams@Chesterfield.gov.uk or calling 01246 959717.

 

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Global inspirational education speaker to headline town’s 2021 Skills and Employability Conference

One of the most inspirational leaders of his generation, award winning speaker, author and former Long Eaton headteacher Richard Gerver, will headline this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Skills and Employability Conference.

Passionate about collaboration between businesses and education, Richard will address the profound challenges that now face young people and educators at the conference, which is being held virtually on Wednesday 10 February from 8.30am – 10.00am.

He will bring his own experience of turning around a failing primary school 10 years ago, to highlight the need to radically transform the education system from its current highly prescriptive environment to one of flexibility, to enable more young people to get the jobs they aspire to.

Usually speaking on the international stage and working with governments and global corporations including Microsoft and Google, the pandemic has seen Richard locked down which gave the event organisers the opportunity to secure him for the virtual conference.

Richard commented: “Schools are under immense pressure right now so I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to educators and businesses in my home county of Derbyshire and bring my insight and experience to the conference which I hope will provide support and reassurance during this unprecedented time.”

He added: “It is fantastic to be in Chesterfield, albeit it virtually. I know the town well and am a regular visitor to Queen’s Park through my work with Derbyshire County Cricket Club.”

At the virtual conference Richard will also be joined in the speaker line-up by Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 LEP who leads on D2N2’s People and Skills strategy and programmes and policy relating to careers, employability, social inclusion and inclusive growth.

The event, which is free to attend, is organised by Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 Enterprise Advisor Network, CEC and Destination Chesterfield, and is open to businesses, schools and education providers in North Derbyshire.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “It’s vital that young people and businesses can access all the information they need to plan for their future, and the Employability and Skills Conference is always an important source of information for them. We are delighted to be joined by Richard as keynote speaker at this year’s event. His experiences in educational change make him the ideal speaker after the last year, I look forward to hearing his insights and I’m sure he will be a real hit with other attendees.”

To secure your place at the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-north-derbyshire-employability-skills-conference/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

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