The next meeting of the Forum will take place on 11 July at 5pm for 5.30pm at Lancaster University. The meeting will be a roundtable discussing how Energy technology can power our ambitions for the North . It will include contributions from Harry Hoster, Director of Energy Lancaster, and Dion Williams, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Lancaster University. This follows on from the May Forum which featured a presentation from Katy Gearing from the Royal Society.
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Business chiefs have called for greater devolution to UK cities and regions as the next government focuses on Brexit negotiations.
In a joint letter to the political parties, the North West Business Leadership Team, representing national and international businesses with substantial commitments in the North West, London First, whose members include over 200 of the capital’s leading companies, and Centre for Cities, an independent think tank dedicated to improving UK city economies, have argued that greater control over the revenues generated by locally raised taxes – such as property and council taxes – would give local institutions greater incentive to drive investment and growth, and the means to fund it.
The Lever Prize 2017 Winner – Z Arts – organised Manchester primary school children to visit the Alstom Transport Traincare Centre in Longsight after buddying up with the business to look at the workplace and introduce them to the amazing technology. A group of 30 children from Webster Primary School, who are taking part in the NWBLT Lever prize funded project My Planet, visited the Alstom Depot in Manchester to learn all about the services that the NWBLT member provides to the train industry in the North West.
The trip helped the children learn all about the benefits of train travel and what Alstom do within their Manchester depot including the full size train scanner, the fully computerised train parts store, how a train is fully refurbished and many other amazing train facts.
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.