Partners’ conference

Skills for the future 9 November 2015


The Partners’ Conference is hosted annually by the South Gloucestershire Partnership to look at issues affecting the social, environmental and economic well-being of the area.  A wide range of stakeholders is invited to take part in the discussions with a view to meeting future challenges and continuing to improve South Gloucestershire’s quality of life.

This year, the important topic of how the future job market will differ from the current one and what can be done to help our young people access local employment careers properly prepared and qualified and providing local businesses with a skilled and relevant workforce.

Nearly eighty delegates were welcomed by the Chair of the South Gloucestershire Partnership Cllr. John Ashe who then introduced Lesley Giles Deputy Director the UK Careers and Employment Service the keynote speaker.  In her presentation Skills for the future Achieving growth through people Lesley set the context of the conference by highlighting the move away from traditional employment and the impact of modern technology and global trends on jobs and careers

She was followed by Adam Powell the Director of Skills for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership who outlined the local perspective and some of the issues which will face the young people of South Gloucestershire  (Growth through skills).

The Further Education sector’s champion Kevin Hamblin Principal of the South Gloucestershire and Stroud College informed the audience of how the college was preparing students for work in his presentation South Glos and Stroud College and highlighted the challenges currently facing this sector.

Finally, Will Roberts Head of Downend School and Director of the Education Partnership informed delegates of how the Education Partnership was improving standards in local schools through a more co-ordinated approach and a greater degree of openness and accountability (Education Partnership).


The presentations were followed by roundtable discussions where delegates looked at various aspects of future skills.  The questions asked were

Labour markets are complex and fluid; how can schools create better pathways to employers?

What more do we need to do to help students become work ready?

What should businesses and schools be doing now to bridge the gap between school and work to ensure a local, skilled and relevant workforce?

Without a quality, properly funded, independent careers advice service how can we inform and guide young people’s aspirations, abilities and talents into jobs of the future?

How can we help strengthen the work ethic and raise ambition and aspirations in our young people?


The key points from each table were captured and can be found by clicking on the relevant question above.