A conference to forge stronger links between employers and local schools and colleges was held in Andover recently.
Crescens George, Director of Learning and Development at Be Wiser was one of the speakers at the event held at the Lights.
The conference was hosted by Test Valley Council and Solent Education and Business Partnership. The idea behind the event was to encourage leaders in Andover businesses and educational establishments to increase the range of work-related opportunities and work experience available to students.
“If you don’t train people there will be a talent shortage,” said Crescens George. “Businesses should not expect colleges to churn talent out, you will never get the right talent, you have to invest in the basics and train those people so they are right for your business.”
Be Wiser started with just three employees in 2007 in an office above Iceland in Andover. Today it employs more than 600 staff across six offices in the town. Be Wiser is the first company in the financial sector to gain direct accreditation for its in house training programme.
The speakers at the conference addressed ways in which working together can tackle a shortage of young people progressing into higher level careers where skill shortages are already identified, particularly in IT, engineering and sciences.
Economic Portfolio Holder, Councillor Peter Giddings, said: “There are so many options available to young people when they leave school, college or university so it is incredibly important for us to work together to ensure that students are well informed of their options. Work placements, apprenticeships and other similar schemes provide a wealth of benefits to students and employers alike, and this conference will be a great opportunity for professionals from a range of backgrounds to share their experiences.”