There is a concern among the Gloucestershire business community about the widening gap between the skills businesses need and what educational establishments are providing.
A number of higher and further education providers, and apprenticeship and training providers in Gloucestershire have teamed up to put together a programme of events at the Training and Development Hub at this year’s Gloucestershire Business Show to highlight what is on offer in the county.
There will also be an opportunity for businesses to engage with training providers about what more can be done to prepare people for work and to help businesses grow.
Amy Harris, Business Development Manager for the Gloucestershire College Business Hub, said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with other training providers, colleges and universities to provide Gloucestershire businesses with information and advice about the broad range of provision and support available to them, via the Training and Development Hub.
“It will also offer us further insight into the skills gaps local businesses are currently facing, to enable us to work together to address these and help them to grow and build better workforces for the future.
“Over the two days we will deliver two presentations entitled ‘Future of Learning’ and ‘Apprenticeship Levy – What is the impact for your business?’ In light of the numerous apprenticeship reforms on the horizon in 2017 we wanted to inform our employer partners, and other local businesses, about how the reforms and levy will affect them.
”Panellists will represent an organisation who will have to pay the levy (Renishaw), an organisation who falls under the levy and a leading authority from the Skills Funding Agency.”
Gloucestershire Engineering Training is an independent Group Training Association delivering high-quality engineering skills training and education to engineering and manufacturing businesses within the county.
Chief executive Linsey Temple said: “The event provides employers with a great opportunity to engage with training and education providers and discuss the best possible way that training and education can help solve some of businesses major growth and development challenges.”
The Future of Learning session is an opportunity to discuss with employers how, where and in what format knowledge will be delivered and consumed in the next five years.
Gerald Crittle of G Acceleration explained: “The presentation will explore how the learning and development needs of employers may be met in the future by using emerging delivery methods such as mobile and social learning, gamification, virtual reality and the increasing availability of free resources.”
The show will also provide an opportunity for Stroud and South Gloucestershire College to showcase its plans to create a Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park at Berkeley and how businesses in the county can benefit.
SGS is transforming the former Nuclear Laboratories in Berkeley into a research centre for small-scale renewable energy generation and storage and another centre for the delivery of cyber security education and training.
It is anticipated that by 2018 at least 1,000 people will be training, learning, researching and working on the site.
Patrick McLeod, head of offsite provision at SGS College, said: “We are very pleased to support the Gloucestershire Business Show in its second year following the success of last year’s show.
“The show provided us with a unique opportunity to network and consult on our plans for the future ensuring that the college is able to respond effectively to employers’ skills needs.
“This year we are excited to be able to showcase our plans to create the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park at Berkeley and the associated economic benefits.”
The Gloucestershire Business Show takes place at The Centaur, at Cheltenham Racecourse, on Wednesday 18 May and Thursday 19 May and will be free for visitors.
It will give delegates an opportunity to speak with thousands of business people, including CEOs, managing directors and business owners, learn about new business initiatives in Gloucestershire, source new products and suppliers and ultimately increase sales.
There will be space for 140 exhibitors offering a wide range of stand sizes and costs designed for the micro SME through to the international corporations, plus an awards evening at Pittville Pump Room.
The show will include stages featuring keynote speakers and expert panel sessions, as well as technology and innovation, safer cyber, and access to finance hubs offering advice and seminars.
Co-organiser Antonia Coles, from County Business Shows, said: “The content of the show is driven by the business community. It’s all about business, discussion, promotion and collaboration.
“We are very excited about this year’s event and the work going on behind the scenes for the different areas of the show.
“Exhibition places are already filling up so we would urge people to book their space at the show now to avoid disappointment.”
To register your FREE entry to the show, visit www.gloucestershire-business-show.co.uk.