People & Appointments

Business growth specialist joins skills board

Written by Peter Davison.

Mandy PatersonBusiness growth specialist Mandy Paterson has been appointed to lead a board tasked with fostering a skilled workforce in Wiltshire.

Mandy, who is chief operating officer of business growth specialists Inspire will chair Wiltshire Council’s education, employment and skills board.

“Taking on the role of chair of the Wiltshire Education, Employment and Skills Board is a real honour and I am relishing this opportunity to support development opportunities for people in our communities,” said Mandy.

Mandy will work with learners, educational and training providers and employers to provide the right people, with the right skills, for the right jobs and drive economic growth in Wiltshire.

She has also been involved with the Wiltshire Careers Education Programme, a specialist curriculum on careers education and work-related learning that is available for all secondary schools and colleges in the county.

It has been developed with employers to reflect what they are looking for from their future workforce and has also been reviewed by schools to ensure it will be an effective teaching resource.

“We feel there is a need to improve the effectiveness of education and business liaison and develop stronger vocational training to bridge the gap between education and employment," said Mandy.

“The programme offers support and resources to help Wiltshire’s young people understand the options available for them in employment in the future.”

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Wiltshire is brimming with potential and skills and we need to link those talented individuals with exciting opportunities in the workplace. The board has an important role to play to achieve this.”

Inspire is a Wiltshire-based company dedicated to helping businesses in the South West maximise their success through business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing. They work closely with Wiltshire College & University Centre.

The College’s Principal and Chief Executive Amanda Burnside, who is also on the Inspire board, said: “Wiltshire College & University Centre and Inspire are on the same page when it comes to filling the skills gaps in our employment sectors and, together, we work with our large employers to look at workforce mapping, upscaling and planning for the future.

“When it comes to employment, we really have got to grow our own in the region so our mission alongside Inspire is to talk to our employers about planning their workforce, the future, and thinking about apprenticeships, which is fundamental to the College. It’s a collaboration that I feel works really well.”

In partnership with the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 small business programme, which brings 100 hours of fully funded expertise to support SMEs across the country, Inspire provides resources to ambitious businesses across the South West looking to grow their businesses exponentially.

They currently have 550 growth members and more than 3,000 ordinary members that range from small businesses with four/five staff to corporations.