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Kent County Council launches eight employer guilds to help address skills shortage over next 10 years

By Chris Price

Kent County Council has created eight teams of experts in different industries to encourage young people to begin a career in those sectors.

The so-called employer guilds will help address areas where there is the most need for newly skilled people over the next 10 years.

They will cover construction, engineering, creative and media, financial, health and social care, hospitality and tourism, land-based and sciences.

Manufacturing technician Chris Hirst at work on the surface mount assembly line at Megger in Dover

Manufacturing technician Chris Hirst at work on the surface mount assembly line at Megger in Dover

The initiative was announced by council leader Paul Carter at a skills conference at the Mercure in Maidstone on Tuesday.

He said: “We are not producing enough young people with the skills to meet the needs of UK and Kent employers.

“As we move into a post-Brexit landscape, it will be even more important for businesses to plan ahead and compete in a global market. Young people are going to be vital to the future success in these areas.

“Through this Kent initiative we are trying to encourage employers in all sectors to take up the empowering new changes in training. We also want to help young people understand more about particular careers and the potential opportunities these might bring.”

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter

Businesses also heard from Tristram Hooley from the Careers Enterprise Company Research and Charlotte Domanski from Business in the Community.

Companies will be encouraged to work in partnership with nearby schools, offering placements and talking to students about the work they do.

Staff from Goodwin Academy in Deal shared their experience at the conference. They run an engineering school partnership with Megger, an electrical testing kit manufacturer in Dover.

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