Over 70 leading North East England exporters heard Richard Waterhouse, chief executive at NBS, set out what he sees as the priority to boost the region’s skills base.
At the North East England Chamber of Commerce event at the Crowne Plaza, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he outlined the importance of giving people the right skills and experiences and the difficulty of recruiting those who can help grow the business.
Richard Waterhouse said: "There is no such thing as an ‘oven ready’ graduate.
"We need to attract skilled employees with a passion to learn and be innovative. Our ideal team members are often not from a standard route into our business or from a standard route through education. The challenge is how can businesses help influence the workforce of the future and anticipate what that might look like."
NBS, the leading global provider of technical information, specification and BIM tools to construction industry professionals, is based in Newcastle’s Old Post Office and is committed to growing its regional base as it continues to expand overseas.
We need to attract skilled employees with a passion to learn and be innovative.Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive, NBS
Julie Underwood, Chamber International Trade Director said: "NBS is a tremendous example of how our region is blazing a trail in the export field and digital innovation as a whole. As a Chamber we were created to support business growth among members, and the sharing of creative solutions to our future workforce needs at this event, has been a great example of us still doing this."
Tim Bailey, Partner at Xsite Architecture in Newcastle also spoke at the event: "The North East has a legacy of innovation which we as local businesses need to instil in the next generation. Being involved in innovative initiatives like the PlanBEE programme which is providing non-traditional routes into work is fantastic and is giving students the wider experiences they need to prepare them for the world of work."
Giselle Stewart OBE, UK Corporate Affairs Director at Ubisoft then introduced the new University Technical College (UTC) being built in Newcastle, with a focus on STEM teaching and intended to generate the talent needed for the digital and health sciences sector.
It will be open to students from the across the region and will provide employers with a unique opportunity to participate in, develop and benefit from the educational experience of the 14-18 year old students who attend.
Giselle commented: "The UTC will give its students a unique experience to work with industry throughout GCSE and A-Level, where we intend to challenge the ‘norms’ of traditional learning.
"And where better to instil this legacy of innovation than in the heart of the Stephenson Quarter, with a legacy of innovation from the Stephenson family."
NBS sponsored this Chamber Global event.