Upskilling workforces - regional businesses meet with industry experts at Coventry University to discuss challenges

The panel and guests seated in Coventry University's Beatrice Shilling building for the Business Insider breakfast event
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Thursday 16 June 2022

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Getting the best out of a workforce and upskilling your staff during the current recruitment crisis were key topics of discussion at a business breakfast hosted by Coventry University.

In partnership with Business Insider, a panel of speakers from high-profile businesses shared their insights and expertise on upskilling.

The panel included: Dan Pech, Regional Sales Manager at Vodafone, Jill Bassett, Operations Director and Talent Solutions Brand Lead at Manpower, Sarah Harris, Head of Academy at Severn Trent, Peter Kay, Head of Learning and Development at Tarmac, David Gaughan, Head of Skills Recovery at the West Midlands Combined Authority, and Paul Noon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Innovation at Coventry University.

With companies finding it harder to recruit top talent externally and fill skill gaps, developing existing staff has become more important than ever for businesses of all sizes.

Recruiting externally is not always the answer to a skills shortage and giving employees the knowledge they need to thrive and get ahead formed a key component of the discussion.

The panel were facilitated by Kurt Jacobs, Editor at Midlands Business Insider, and answering questions from the audience, they discussed the best strategies and innovations found to help retain and train staff, including working collaboratively with education providers.

Business leaders presented examples of how they had developed bespoke and tailored initiatives with universities to plug the skills gaps of legacy staff while also attracting graduates who possessed cutting edge knowledge required by organisations today and in the future. Hard skills including technical knowledge around sustainability, digital and management, as well as softer skills such as interpersonal and adaptability, were high on the agenda.

Collaboration is key. Working with further and higher education can enable employers to produce a skills solution for the individual and the business.

Paul Noon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Innovation at Coventry University

The event took place in Coventry University’s Beatrice Shilling building, which was completed in 2020. 

Watch the recorded stream and find out more about opportunities for business at Coventry University.