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Engaging with Employers UKSPA Member Meeting Oct 6th/7th John Holton Strategy Director Cogent Sector Skills Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging with Employers UKSPA Member Meeting Oct 6th/7th John Holton Strategy Director Cogent Sector Skills Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging with Employers UKSPA Member Meeting Oct 6th/7th John Holton Strategy Director Cogent Sector Skills Council

2 Cogent SSC Skills for Science-based industries Cogent Industries: Oil & Gas Petroleum Chemicals Pharmaceuticals Life Sciences Polymers Nuclear Employers GovernmentNSA accredited providers

3 Science-based Industries The Science-based Industries: employ 900,000 UK employees in approximately 23,000 employers and produced £201bn turnover # contributing £65.5bn GVA to the UK economy # 2008 ABI figures (released 2010)

4 The Value of Skills Cogent industries are of strategic importance to the UK economy and a vital part of the UK manufacturing and energy infrastructure- They keep the lights on. Increased productivity and competence derived from industry up-skilling is worth an additional £1.5bn to the UK economy This is Cogents mission- to deliver the skills these industries need to be sustainable, to compete internationally, and to generate wealth and essential resources

5 Cogent Role Providing the Employer Voice on Skills Developing fit-for-purpose qualifications and standards Producing sector labour market intelligence Attracting new talent to the sector and retaining talent By working with Employers and understanding their skill needs

6 Engaging with employers Cogents employers are often large organisations, many of whom operate globally. 80% of the 900,000 workforce work in the top 20% of the 23,000 UK employers Employer engagement strategy has been to work primarily with the larger companies to reach the most employees Our employers priorities are at UK and international level Challenge for Cogent is engaging the small, medium enterprises which predominate life sciences and polymers SMEs are the future talent pipeline for life sciences and polymers

7 UK Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

8 Cogent and the Skills Academies

9 Engaging SMEs The SME population in the Cogent industries is estimated as some 19,100 Employers and 394,100 Employees Our existing business model is working well with larger companies; a bespoke Skills Assurance offer through the National Skills Academy Process Industries that is: – Assuring what companies do against the Gold Standard – Identifying gaps and solutions – Stimulating up-skilling and investment by Companies This approach is too heavy for SMEs Discussions with SME employers tell us that a more tailored approach is needed

10 Engaging SMEs SMEs are generally: – Focused on the short term business objectives – Unable to release staff for periods of time – Require specialist skill sets to bridge gaps – Devoid of HR support Additionally for small & micro enterprises a lot of support is available often free of charge e.g. legal, investment and business advice

11 Engaging SMEs SMEs are looking for: – Training with immediate business impact – Short courses – Focused training courses – Flexible delivery models – Value for money And are not particularly seeking qualifications And often do not have a training strategy, time to plan or search for training solutions

12 Engaging SMEs Cogent is seeking to develop an SME Skills offer To do this we are looking to – Engage better with SMEs – Map training that SMEs value and invest in – Develop a sustainable support service – Provide self help tools for individuals and companies – Identify or develop flexible training courses that meet the needs of SMEs

13 Engaging SMEs External Training Laboratory Skills, Technical training Techniques training (GPC, HPLC) First Aid Fork Lift truck driving Health & Safety IT Training Management training Marketing & sales training Apprenticeships In-house training Health & Safety Knowledge transfer HR skills Company specific skills GMP/GLP

14 Engaging SMEs Technical Small molecule drug discovery-a biological perspective Introduction to drug development Intro Course Lab Technicians Bespoke microbiology training Pre-clinical Evaluation Bio-transformations for industry Functional & Behavioural Project Management Scientific Presentation Skills Commercial Awareness-from Bench to balance sheet Introduction to Management Compliance Medical Devices Risk Management Regulation of Drug Device combinations US Regulation of Med. Tech. Managing Safely Laboratory Health & Safety Bio-safety Practioner Level 1 (Foundation) Short Courses

15 Engaging SMEs Next Steps Developing a skills diagnostic tool for individuals and companies Developing a route map for SME training Holding 7 seminars autumn/spring with multiplier organisations to understand SME skills needs in life sciences Working with institutes and associations to engage SMEs in skills

16 Engaging SMEs Finally Cogent is seeking a sustainable SME engagement strategy Could this be through Science Parks or Business Parks? How could this work? What is the offer? If you have any comments or would like to engage please contact me at:


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