19 February 2018
Working with partners to improve educational opportunities in our town has always been a big priority for ONE Haverhill Partnership.
One of the education gaps needing improvement is the offer for people, aged 16 to 60 years old – and even beyond.
We have begun working with local employers to look at how we can improve the skills base available in Haverhill by having the right skills and attitude for the world of work.
Post-16 year olds are a focus in this quest, but it also includes post-18 year olds and those across the age spectrum.
We feel there could be a greater offer and we are working with organisations who could provide this – as well as trying to identify suitable facilities around Haverhill.
Samuel Ward Academy Trust and West Suffolk College are both valued members of ONE Haverhill Partnership and involved in helping to get better solutions for the town.
Next month, we will be hosting a free Skills Forum at Haverhill Arts Centre in collaboration with Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.
This idea came from last year’s West Suffolk Business Festival when we decided to improve dialogue with local employers in order to better understand where the skills shortage is – and what skills will be needed, and still relevant, in the workplace over the next five or 10 years and further still.
Only then can we start to identify the role of educationalists in providing these skills.
The Skills Forum will be a great way to start this dialogue and I urge senior managers and decision makers from our local employers to get involved.
Details of the forum are on both the Haverhill Chamber and ONE Haverhill Partnership websites.
It is easy for people to bemoan the lack of skills among our younger and older people and say they are not work-ready, but this is a simple and effective way of starting to change that.
Working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Skills Forum will engage with employers in Town to give them an opportunity to shape the future.
ONE Haverhill Partnership acts as a change agent and this will be a great way to start identifying the priorities and bridging the gaps between education and employment.
Because if Haverhill succeeds, we all succeed.