The 18th April 2018 saw the first of two SWLEP stakeholder events which focus on the development of a Higher Education Strategy for the region .
Bringing together over sixty stakeholders from across the county and beyond, the event was hosted in the Corn Exchange in Devizes and gave the participants an opportunity to understand the current Higher Education landscape in Swindon and Wiltshire and “have their say” on what shape the future HE strategy should take.
Presentations were shared, including an overview of the evidence base which included summaries of the recent Swindon & Wiltshire employer and learner Surveys. This gave delegates an understanding of the opportunities and challenges across the region.
Particularly interesting was the panel of current Higher Education learners hosted by Paddy Bradley (SWLEP Director) who drew on their day-to-day experiences within HE to highlight how their individual journeys has changed both their personal and career ambitions.
The role of employers was prominent within the discussion especially around the role that they play in facilitating wider learning across their workforce whilst also growing the local economy.
Higher Futures were highlighted as a successful bridging function between HE and industry enabling businesses to really understand what options are available and how they can benefit from increased learning within their workforce. Please contact Higherfutures@swlep.co.uk to find out more.
Also integral to this conversation were the role of apprenticeships and for anyone keen to dig a little deeper please visit the SWLEP’s apprenticeship quiz https://apprenticesurvey.co.uk/.
The second event for the north of the “patch” is in Swindon at the Steam Museum on Tuesday the 24th April and with over 80 registered stakeholders it promises to be another exciting debate.