From education to employment

Local businesses, schools and education providers invited to help shape the future of education and skills delivery

‘Careers Made In Chesterfield’ – a brand new Careers Workshop pilot, which is designed to inspire and inform local students, will be launched at this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference.

Schools and employers, who are keen to support the future career and job opportunities for local young people, are being urged to attend the free annual conference to learn more about the exciting initiative.

The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference, which aims to strengthen links between education providers and businesses, is returning for a seventh year and will take place at the Winding Wheel Theatre on Wednesday 8 February, from 8am -11am.

Confirmed speakers at the go-to event include Andy Byrne, Property Development Director for the Devonshire Group, which is behind the Staveley Works scheme. He will be updating on the innovative Construction Skills Hub, which is set to provide specialist training for thousands of learners as part of the Staveley Town Deal.

Alongside Andy Byrne, Julie Richards, Principal of The Chesterfield College Group will be speaking at the event. The College, with support from the University of Derby, has been appointed as the training provider for the new Hub. Over 10 years, the public/private sector collaboration aims to provide training, careers insights, and work experience for over 5,000 learners.

The conference will also welcome students from Whittington Green School and apprentices from Tarmac as well as Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council.

The conference is an opportunity for businesses, schools and education providers in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire to come together and shape the future of education and skills delivery in the area.

During the morning, businesses are invited to feed into local and regional skills plans and help shape the strategic direction through discussion of business needs, challenges and successes.

Organised by Chesterfield Borough Council and Destination Chesterfield, with support from Derbyshire North Careers Hub, the conference is part of the Festival of Business programme and open to all businesses, schools and education providers in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire to attend.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said:

“This year’s Skills and Employability Conference looks set to be another packed showcase of the exciting opportunities and aspirations which exist across our borough. It’s a great way to strengthen the links between business and education, which ensures that our young people can develop the skills local employers need – creating a thriving and ambitious local workforce for the future.

“On the day, we will be delighted to be joined by students from Whittington Green School and look forward to hearing from senior leaders at Brookfield Community School about steps we can take together to develop robust career strategies that will further benefit the borough’s young people, along with an employer panel that will be chaired by Tarmac’s apprentice.

“The spotlight will also be on some of our innovative skills projects which are moving ahead in the borough, including investment in the Construction Skills Hub through the Staveley Town Deal which is set to create some fantastic opportunities for thousands of learners over the coming years, especially young people living in the Staveley area.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield, commented:

“With over 15,000 students set to gain their GCSEs and A Levels over the next five years in North Derbyshire, a strong and successful partnership between education providers and local businesses is critical. We need to ensure young people have the right skills, are work-ready and can make the most of the employment opportunities available in a wide range of sectors and industries on their doorstep. This conference is the first step in making this happen.”

Tickets for the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference are free and can be booked at

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