Gillian Keegan MP joins business leaders to debate skills and accessing talent

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Plugging the skills gap apprenticeships and traineeships event

Watch the live panel debate here

To discuss the current skills agenda in the UK, Business Leader partnered with Strode College for a live panel debate looking at the benefits of employing apprentices and investing in traineeships and T Level work placements.

Gillian Keegan MP – who is the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills joined the panel, alongside Business Leaders from food and drink, professional services and the automotive sector.

To watch the debate please click above.

Who is on the panel?

David Byford: Director of Employer Engagement, Strode College
Shaun Grist: Group IT Manager, Wellington Motor Group
Emma Cox: Head of Field Sales, Thatchers Cider
Gillian Keegan MP: Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills
Ingrid Parker: Operations Manager, Harris & Harris
Mell Turford: Director and Chair, GFM

Here’s a breakdown of what we covered:

Gillian Keegan: Are you finding more businesses supporting young people in their education through the provision of apprenticeships/T Level placements and how can we get more to do so? (02:55)
Gillian Keegan: Can investing in apprenticeships and T Level Placements help with employing local talent as opposed to recruiting from abroad? (05:02)
David Byford: Are you seeing more businesses looking to take on apprentices/ or people on T Level Placements? (08:34)
David Byford: For a business owner that may be watching and has never taken on an apprentice and has a perception that it’s a lot of work. What would you say to them about the benefits? (10:49)
Emma Cox, Shaun Grist, Mell Turford & Ingrid Parker: What has your experience been of investing in apprentices and T-Level placements? (13:52)
Gillian Keegan: How can adults access these kinds of options as well as young people? (24:57)
Gillian Keegan: You mentioned the push in skills across various sectors, are you expecting large growth in EV and renewables specifically? (31:08)
David Byford: If I’m a business coming to Strode College for information on these skills and apprenticeship schemes, how do I know what’s right for my business? (33:38)
Mell Turford: Could you tell us about the T levels pilot scheme that you were a part of? (34:50)
Emma Cox & Ingrid Parker: Are you seeing a range of ages taking advantage of the schemes that your business is a part of? (35:40)

Questions from the audience

Gillian Keegan & David Byford: How can technical options, such as apprenticeships, traineeships and T Levels, help to solve skills shortages in sectors (like hospitality and logistics)? (39:29)
Gillian Keegan: There has been some criticism about the Apprenticeship Levy, can this scheme be classed as a success? (45:40)

Shaun Grist & Ingrid Parker: As businesses that have been a part of the schemes discussed today, would you change or clarify anything in particular about them? (49:26)

• Final word from Shaun Grist (52:00)
• Final word from Emma Cox (52:28)
• Final word from Mell Turford (53:16)
• Final word from Ingrid Parker (53:44)
• Final word from Gillian Keegan (54:19)
• Final word from David Byford (55:12)

Be sure to subscribe to the Business Leader YouTube channel for more interviews with some of the UK’s leading business figures.

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  1. Here at Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce we are working on a partnership with Bridgwater and Taunton College to produce a bespoke programme for our members to promote apprenticeships and workplace training opportunities, share best practise and very importantly ensure that we encourage our young people to aspire to live and work locally rather than move away as we firmly believe that they are the business leaders of the future.
    We plan to launch the partnership in September in line with the new academic year and would love to invite Gillian to attend 🙂

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