All industries need a highly-skilled workforce with transferable skills and the region benefits from a very strong education system of almost 100 secondary schools, a strong network of Future Education Colleges and two world-class universities on it's doorstep.
The area is renowned for its academic excellence and skilled workforce. There are over 54,000 students studying at the University of Warwick and Coventry University and both provide access to leading Research and Development and innovation infrastructure.
There is also an abundance of inspiring apprenticeship and training schemes across the region including first class collaborations like the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, MIRA Technology Institute, WMG Academy and the Jaguar Land Rover partnership with Warwickshire College's Apprenticeship Centre.
There are three sector leads for education this year, to really push and showcase the sector.
Marion Plant OBE FCGI, is Principal and Chief Executive of a large FE College; North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in Leicestershire and Warwickshire. She is also Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools.She serves on several national/ regional bodies including:Non-executive board member of the DfEBoard member for Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and for the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)Trustee of the National Society CouncilBoard member of Coventry University and co-chair of the Academic Affairs committeeGovernor of Stephenson CollegeTrustee of WorldSkills UK.
"The provision of relevant, high quality skills training through local universities, further education colleges and training providers is an absolute ‘game changer’ in respect of driving up productivity and prosperity within Coventry and Warwickshire."
Paul Fairburn, Director, Enterprise and Innovation, Coventry University says " Being one of the main Business Festival partners last year was a great experience for Coventry University. As well as networking with professionals who may not have previously been involved with or aware of the university’s capabilities and activities, this was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how we have been supporting the local business community over the past year, and our plans for the future. We also enjoyed attending some fantastic events hosted by other local businesses. We are delighted to be a big part of the Festival again this year and look forward to seeing many of you at our events. The festival offers two weeks of (mostly free) business events across Coventry and Warwickshire and provides a great opportunity for us all to take advantage of some breathing space, spend time catching up with each other, and learning about new and relevant initiatives."
Pat Tossington, Academic Director, Employability and Skills, University of Warwick. Pat’s role is to provide strategic leadership across the University of Warwick on all aspects of employability. His background is as Professor of Organizational Psychology specialising in leadership and teams and he had previous careers in business (Sales Director) and the British Army. He is also on his fourth start-up business – he has created a smartphone app where students use their phones to access their learning materials and interact with fellow students and lecturers.
"Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival brings the next generation into contact with business and links businesses with new ideas and creative people. "
The key event for this sector is being hosted by MIRA at the new Technology Institute, discussing the Specialist Skills for the Global Automotive Industry and an exclusive tour round the building.