Member Consultation

Member Consultation Member Consultation

07 July 2021


10:00 - 11:00



Member consultation on College Business Centres and skills support for SMEs

Following the launch of the Skills for Jobs White Paper and planned legislation on Skills and Post-16 Education, join the CBI, FSB, and the Department for Education to help develop proposals for increasing competitiveness and accelerating growth amongst SMEs.

The session will help shape government plans for College Business Centres, which intend to support business investment in skills and provide employer support services. It will also focus on the challenges facing SMEs in business change and workforce planning and explore how the FE sector can provide clear points of access to holistic support.

We will be keen to explore, in a Chatham House B2B environment, the following questions:

  • What are the major barriers preventing SMEs increasing levels of productivity, innovation, and growth?
  • What business support services would you value from a College Business Centre? Has the government set the right priorities?
  • How effectively are colleges partnering with smaller firms and responding to their skills needs?
  • What role do you believe that business member organisations should play in supporting local skills strategies?
  • How effective have LEPs or local government been in supporting your organisation to understand and access support? (eg. Via ‘Business Gateway’)

Department for Education participants:

  • Kirsty Evans, ESFA Director for FE and SRO for Skills Accelerator
  • Steve Oram, Head of Skills Accelerator Development Fund and College Business Centres
  • Val Kenton, Policy Lead for College Business Centres

 CBI participants:

  • Matthew Percival, Director, People and Skills, CBI
  • Alissa Dhaliwal, Head of Education and Skills, CBI
  • Aaron Revel, Senior Policy Adviser, CBI

FSB participants:

  • Chinara Rustamova, Senior Policy Adviser, FSB
  • Paul Wilson, Policy Director, FSB


We are aiming this session specifically at members interested in skills reform and those that have a working understanding of the government’s objectives in the Skills for Jobs White Paper. Places are limited.

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Colette Cunningham

Colette Cunningham

Events & Sponsorship Manager - Scotland