POSTPONED – South West Skills Conference 2018

POSTPONED – South West Skills Conference 2018

It is with much regret that for a range of reasons the SW Skills Conference has had to be postponed until the early part of next year.

This decision has not been taken lightly because we recognise that many people have already adjusted their diaries to accommodate the date, but due to the changing landscape in the skills agenda in light of recent government announcements, we would like more time to reflect on the implications for the SW to ensure the event can deliver its objectives fully.

On behalf of the partners, the South West LEPs and EDF Energy, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and we would like to thank you for your interest.

It is planned to re-cast the agenda to reflect opportunities presented by new funding streams, government strategy and the wider economy in 2018. We will identify another date and be in touch with you in the New Year, if we may.

In the meantime we hope that you will enjoy a well-earned rest over the next couple of weeks

South West Skills Conference 2018:
Growing Industry Productivity through Skills

19 January 2018 – Bridgwater, Somerset

Having the right skills, at the right level, is one of the most important factors for achieving future growth and improving productivity. The SW Skills Conference will bring together industrial companies, skills experts (apprenticeships, training providers, recruitment) and Local and Regional Stakeholders to share current experience, challenges and potential solutions.

Key themes for the day:

  • Resource planning to meet business needs
  • Embedding apprenticeships as part of long term planning: what works, what doesn’t
  • Role of management and leadership in creating a culture that retains talent

We request your attendance as an important contributor to this subject. If you are unable to attend, please nominate someone within your organisation who is able to support the agenda for you.

The event will include key note speakers and Q&A panel discussions as well as the opportunity for you to take a proactive role in shaping the SW Skills agenda.

The conference is supported by Anne Milton Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Minister for Women and will include key note speakers and interactive Q&A panel discussions.

This is a free event aimed at key industrial sectors in the South West. We are expecting demand to be high and recommend that you book your place early to avoid disappointment. Numbers are limited and bookings will be offered on a first come first served basis.


09:00 – Registration and Networking

10:00 – Welcome

With a ministerial message from Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Minister for Women

10:30 – Apprenticeships

With Key Note Speaker: Stuart Crooks, MD for Nuclear New Build – EDF Energy and a Q&A Panel* Discussion

Networking, Exhibitions and Refreshment Break

12:00 – Making the most of your Workforce

With Key Note Speaker: Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President – Airbus in the UK and a Q&A Panel* Discussion

13:00 – Employer Led Skills Priorities Q&A Panel* Discussion

13:30 – Plenary

Networking, Exhibitions and Lunch

14:30 – Understanding the Apprenticeship Levy

Rejoin us for a presentation and interactive Q&A discussion on making the apprenticeship levy work for you

15:30 – Close

*Q&A Panelists


  • Stuart Crooks, Managing Director, Nuclear New Build – EDF Energy
  • Nigel Fenn, SW Water and Chair – SW Apprenticeship Ambassador Network
  • TBC, National Apprenticeship Service
  • Ian Munroe, SW Association of Colleges

Making the most of your Workforce

  • Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President – Airbus UK
  • Helen Lacey, Director – Redberry Recruitment
  • Paul Tansey, Chairman – Dorset Chamber of Commerce
  • Deborah Waddell, SW Director – CBI
  • Verity Davidge, Head of Education and Skills – EEF (Manufacturers’ Organisation)

Employer Led Skills Priorities

  • Steve Cardew, Chair of Plymouth Employment and Skills Board
  • Fiona McMillan, Chair of Somerset Employment and Skills Board / HotSW LEP People Theme Lead
  • Adam Powell, Director of Skills, West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Ian Girling, Chair of Dorset Employment and Skills Board / CEO – Dorset Chamber of Commerce
  • Paul Massey, Chair of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Employment and Skills Board

Please click here for further details of our speakers and panelists.

To book or for more information

© Bridgwater Chamber 2018