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EvoNorth 2019: Discussing Education, Skills & Employment

Educating the next generation of business, society leaders and decision-makers is one of the most prevalent challenges the North faces: with 80,000 new digital workers in demand by 2020, it is more important now than ever before that the next workforce wave has the right skills and knowledge base to develop and drive the Northern Powerhouse.


At EvoNorth 2019, panellists were focused on meeting this demand: featuring Gary Wallis-Clarke, executive head teacher of West Jesmond Primary School, national leader of education and member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group; Craig Ivison, head of employment and skills, Cumbria LEP; Sinead O’Sullivan, director of delivery at the Department for Education; Dr San Grogan, pro vice-chancellor for student experience at the University of Salford; and Shona Duncan, head of education and skills at the Tees Valley Mayoral Combined Authority.

Dr Grogan provided a levelled and thought-provoking insight to what universities need to strive further for to develop the Northern Powerhouse, including creating and encourage students who actively disrupt the field they are studying:

Duncan echoed these sentiments but at a younger scale, arguing that in the North East specifically “there needs to be big growth, and there is opportunity.” Duncan noted that a key aspect of this is putting role models in front of young people around the age of 10 and encouraging work in STEM subjects.

The onus is not only on the education sector to do more to encourage the development of skills the industry will demand in the future, Ivison notes:

Find out more about what went on at EvoNorth 2019 in our Business & Innovation and Energy blogs.

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