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Shaping a new generation

Business leaders have come together to hear how they could help shape the future of the next generation of workers.

The industry leaders from across Warwickshire and further afield attended the Warwickshire Education Business Partnership employer conference to hear from the head of the partnership about how working with youngsters now will make the UK economy stronger and more competitive in the future.

The Warwickshire Education Business Partnership was celebrating over 15 years of successful working with schools and businesses and delegates were given a chance to find out about the broad range of the company has been involved in over the past decade and a half.

Cllr Chris Saint, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “The event has been extremely worthwhile, bringing together some very diverse employment sectors, ranging from banking to the armed forces, and demonstrating the benefits of working with our young people now.

“The increase both in the number of companies and number of students worked with was clearly evident, the former increasing from 65 in 1993 to 1,500 in 2008; while the number of students the WEBP worked with had shifted from 360 in 1993 to a staggering current figure of 62,800.”

Delegates attending the conference at the Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa, were given the chance to attend workshops covering the 14-19 Education agenda and the New Diplomas, how they could get the most out of work experience and the need to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility.

Speakers Steffan Aquarone , MD of Full Range Media and Tim Over, Head of George Eliot Community School in Nuneaton, gave inspirational talks about the benefits they had experienced through working with the WEBP from the two very different perspectives of business and education.

The event proved a great success with comments from delegates such as “Really good in terms of understanding how the EBP might be able to work with us in order to incorporate activities into staff personal development” and

“I benefited from the speakers’ knowledge and experience and was caught up in their enthusiasm. A really enjoyable day and well worth attending.”

Sheila Hancox, Head of the WEBP said: “I was delighted with the event and we have received very positive feedback. We achieved our objectives, which were to share with employers the wide variety of work of the WEBP and the mutual benefits that can be achieved by partnership working.

“Employer engagement is high on the Government’s agenda in ensuring the success of the reforms in 14-19 education.”