On Friday 15th of January I attended the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce’s careers focus group at the invitation of Caroline Williams. The focus group was looking at the careers service in schools and what could be done to get schools and businesses working together more effectively. Joining us to hear and collate our views were two members of the British Chamber of Commerce. The remainder of the focus group was made up from members of the Norfolk Chamber, leaders of local businesses, schools and colleges. There were 17 of us in total.
Before I arrived I wasn’t really sure who was going to be there or what to expect. However, it turned out be a great opportunity to catch up with a couple of people I hadn’t seen for a long time and to make some great new connections. The real eye-opener was what I learned about the school careers system in Norfolk, what many of the forward thinking schools are achieving and how businesses like mine can help to make a difference.
I also had the opportunity to talk to some of the further education establishments in Norwich and to try and help influence which new skills they offer to their students. There is a major shortage of software engineers in Norwich and Norfolk and one of the ways we need to address this is to produce more homegrown talent with the right skills for local software companies.
The event was chaired and well structured; the allocated two hours just flew by. The conversations were engaging and informative as well as there being a lot of laughter from a group of people clearly committed to making a positive difference to the young people in the education system in Norfolk.
And of course an excellent lunch helped too!