The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) was launched by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1989, following a joint initiative of Business in the Community and the Confederation of British Industry. The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England. A unique regional entity, funded entirely by our members, we work to exert our collective influence for the long term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially.
The North West Business Leadership Team has today called on the Greater Manchester Mayoral candidates to shape the national industrial strategy so that it fully embraces digital and the new technologies emerging across the region. It has hosted a series of meetings with mayoral candidates and policy makers in March and April to press the case for making the most of devolution and the new city mayoralties. Canvassing views from its membership, the NWBLT industrial strategy priorities for Greater Manchester include:
• boosting local skills – especially tech and digital skills – so that young people leaving full time education are prepared to embrace new technologies that are transforming the world of work.
• A coherent strategy for the technologies that are likely to take off in Greater Manchester – including advanced materials, AI, big data and digital design.
• A coherent businesses and investment strategy that encourages inward investment and exports, with a clear 100 day plan in place from May 6th.
• Robust infrastructure across the region, quickening the road and rail investments required to create strong growth across Greater Manchester and beyond.
In a new collection of essays, published by Green Alliance today, eight leading business and policy voices, including the NWBLT’s Chair and the Director General of the CBI, say the government must embed low carbon development and resource efficiency in a truly modern industrial strategy; and that failure to do so risks wasting the opportunities the UK has to capitalise on the green economy.
The strong message from the publication’s contributors is that the government’s plan to boost business productivity, particularly in former industrial communities, must be aligned with UK low carbon energy and resource policies.
The next meeting of the NWBLT’s Forum is taking place on Monday 15th May in the Atrium at Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington. The event commences at 4pm with an optional tour of the Virtual Engineering Centre which will include a visit to one of the VEC’s virtual laboratories. The Virtual Reality laboratory is where industry comes to co-innovate and develop new products and processes using a range of virtual engineering tools such as Virtual Reality. The VEC will demonstrate how Bentley Motors have used such technologies to successfully develop new products more quickly and cost effectively. There will also be a demonstration of how VR is being used in the medical sector.
The main meeting at 5pm for 5.30pm will open with a presentation from Katy Gearing from the Royal Society who are engaging with the wider science community across the North West. There will then be a panel discussion with Q&A from the audience.
The Barefoot Computing project, which has now reached more than one million pupils UK-wide, helps primary school teachers get to grips with computing so that they can better help their pupils. Led by BT and the British Computing Society, Barefoot offers free teaching-resources and volunteer-led training workshops, designed to help primary school teachers get confident when teaching computer science and computing skills. It is making a big impact across the UK with over 130,000 resources downloaded and more than 35,000 teachers using those resources.
Mike Blackburn, chairman of BT’s North West regional board and NWBLT’s Deputy Chair, said: “Computing is a vital skill for the future of the North West. For the individual, it opens the door to a world of possibilities. Businesses and organisations of all types and sizes rely on this technology, whilst households use it for online learning, research and entertainment. In the North West BT volunteers are running workshops at schools the length and breadth of the region, giving teachers the confidence to teach computing to young people. Those skills will undoubtedly be used to successfully navigate a whole host of real-world challenges as they go through life.”
BT today announced it is creating about 180 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs in the North West in its drive to equip young people with the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of a changing jobs market.
About 180 apprentices and graduates will be recruited in locations such as Manchester, Stockport, Liverpool, Warrington and Accrington. This year’s BT apprentice and graduate recruitment, which includes mobile operator EE, will see the new employees work in a variety of roles, ranging from customer service, vehicle maintenance and billing to cyber security and software development.
The new NWBLT CEO, Emma Degg, and NWBLT Members, Sandy Lindsay MBE and Janet Beer, have made the Northern Power Women Power List for 2017. The campaign is to promote gender equality and the Awards ceremony took place in early March in Manchester on International Women’s Day.
The Powerlist, which recognises the leaders and change makers who are making a positive difference and impact, was announced at the Awards event.
Mott MacDonald has been appointed to advise on the proposed Northern Tidal Power Gateways across Morecombe Bay and the Duddon Estuary in north west England. The project, which is being developed by Northern Tidal Power Gateways Ltd, incorporates power generating turbines and transport links from the M6 in the south to Millom, with the potential to also reach Moorside if appropriate.
Northern Tidal Power Gateways is the brainchild of Alan Torevell, chair of Dewhurst Torevell who is a member of the NWBLT and pictured left.
Business leaders in the science-related industries are being encouraged to celebrate their achievements with a national award launched by the organiser of the Business of Science Conference. The Business of Science Leadership Award seeks to recognise a senior figure from the private, public or charitable sector who has made an outstanding contribution to business leadership in an area of science and innovation. The call for entries is open (closing 24th March) to ambitious leaders of science-based organisations of all sizes from across the UK who can demonstrate active engagement with the wider business community and an ongoing commitment to the promotion of science at the highest level.
A judging panel of high-profile industry figures including NWBLT member Richard Carter, MD, BASF UK, Steve Elliott, CEO of the Chemical Industries Association, Dr Gail Cardew of The Royal Institution, Richard Jones, CFO, Mereo BioPharma and Redx Pharma Plc CEO and chair of the judges, Dr Neil Murray, will meet in London in May to review the entries.
Leading business organisations – the North West Business Leadership Team, the Institute of Directors and the CBI – have come together to agree what good looks like in the world of education and skills, in an attempt to help move this vital agenda forward.
During a full day workshop, senior leaders from some of the region’s leading employers came together with skills and policy specialists from the CBI and IoD in order to use their combined expertise to create a Skills Charter, written from the ‘demand side’. This Charter sets out not only what these organisations need from the world of education and skills, but also – crucially – what they (and other organisations) can do to help bring this change about.
The North West Business Leadership Team have launched #NWBLTBusiness Matters campaign which highlights some of positive contributions our members make to the region and the country. The campaign uses a cartoon characters to highlight the facts in a lighthearted manner – printed copies of the cards are available from the NWBLT office.