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The very first Future Talent Forums took place at New College this week. This exciting new initiative offers organisations the opportunity to join and contribute to sector-specific panels made up of employer stakeholders and College Curriculum Leads. The Future Talent Forums allows them to have a direct input into shaping the education and training of young people.

Employers have been having their say in what skills are needed now and in the future, identifying opportunities to set live projects where students can contribute directly to their businesses, shaping their future workforce directly via work placements or Apprenticeships, and benefitting from opportunities to train their existing staff.  The Forums will also play a key role in the development of new T-Level qualifications; Future Talent Partners will be at the forefront of helping to develop these new technical routes into employment within their sectors.  

Forums held this week covered: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; Early Years/Childcare; Health and Social Care and Travel and Tourism. A range of fantastic employers were welcomed and there was some really lively discussion and debate.

Dave Battrick, from Business West, also attended, he said: “It’s great that New College is prioritising this kind of business engagement. I have no doubt that by listening to the needs of the local business community, they will provide the workforce of the future which accurately reflects the needs of our businesses.”

It’s an exciting time for the College and local employers, T-Level development and implementation across most sectors will enhance technical skills and employability of the future workforce. In addition to this, the £21M development for the Institute of Technology, set to launch in 2021, will offer degree-level training in STEM sectors.

Future Talent Forums will continue at regular intervals, with more sectors being launched as the year progresses. March will see the introduction of forums focusing on Humanities, Digital and Computing, Performing Arts and Creative Arts. In June there will be a further introduction of Hair and Beauty, Sport and Public Services, Business, Finance and English, Communications and Law.      

Chris Baish, Vice Principal: Business Development and Employer Engagement said:

“I am delighted to have launched this new way of working with our most valued employer partners, as well as opening our doors to new ones. FE Colleges have a significant role to play in shaping and developing the skills of the local workforce now and for the future. We are absolutely committed to responding to what employers tell us they need, so this is an innovative way of involving them at the very heart of our planning, as well as celebrating the ongoing support they give to the college and its students”

Want to get involved in Future Talent Forums? Email us: