Blog Type, IPT Blog | April 2017

March Events Blog

The Value of Tourism to the UK Economy

On Wednesday 1 March the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) held a breakfast meeting discussing The Value of Tourism to the Economy. The meeting was chaired by Nigel Huddleston MP, Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, and included contributions from Bernard Donoghue, Director at Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. The discussion looked into how regional tourism can be boosted and where there has been significant growth in tourism in the UK.  

  • The discussion explored the large increase of tourism outside of London, with a rise in UK holidaymakers booking staycations to regions such as Scotland 
  • Within London, there has been a rise in gallery visits, with the Tate and V&A recording record levels in recent months
  • It was suggested that the introduction of additional incentives for local councils could assist the growth of regional tourism.  

The Future of Retail

On Wednesday 8 March the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives on The Future of Retail. The discussion was chaired by Drew Hendry MP, SNP Spokesperson for Transport, and welcomed guest speaker Nigel Oddy, Chief Executive of House of Fraser. The discussion focused on the direction of retail in the midst of unprecedented times. 

  •  Attendees discussed that the introduction of multichannel retailing (online services, in store, pick and collect) and how this has dealt with recent industry challenges. However, keeping up with the culture of ‘fast fashion’ still places a strain on the supplier
  • The group explored the importance of store experience, including the concept of building a consumer ‘experience’ in store through the application of several services, for example nail bars and hairdressers
  • Looking to the future, the impact of automotive and robotic technologies can offer efficiencies and challenges to the traditional in store experience. 

Skills and the Industrial Strategy

On Thursday 9 March the IPT hosted a breakfast meeting discussing Skills and Industrial Strategy. By bringing together industry experts and parliamentarians this meeting created a forum for discussion on how education and skills should be incorporated into the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The meeting was chaired by Ruth Cadbury MP, Shadow Minister for Housing. 

  • Attendees agreed that many organisations are experiencing challenges recruiting for highly skilled and low skilled jobs because training and formal education hasn’t kept up with the changing nature of work as technology transforms how people do business
  • The group noted that it remains vital to ensure that schools, colleges, universities and industry are providing relevant training to keep up with development in technology and prepare for future roles that do not yet exist
  • The group discussed how the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy will adapt the existing landscape for UK businesses and career guidance.

UK's International Trade: The EU and Beyond

On Monday 13 March the IPT, in association with the University of Warwick, hosted a dinner discussion on the topic UK’s International Trade: The EU and Beyond. The event was chaired by Catherine McKinnell MP, Select Committee on Education, and featured Speakers Ian Howells, Senior Vice-President of Honda, and Dr Dennis Novy, Associated Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. 

  • A core theme of this discussion was the need to build trust among the many stakeholders upon which trade deals and agreements can be negotiated and legislated
  • A major topic of discussion was the significance of existing supply chains, how they can be preserved in UK trade beyond Brexit and new opportunities that will emerge
  • Attendee’s explored the impact that differing origin rules may have on the UK’s international trade and as a general consideration how the UK can improve productivity, especially in infrastructure building, and boost management skill levels.

Apprenticeship Delivery 2020

On Tuesday 14 March the IPT held a dinner discussion on Apprenticeship Delivery 2020. Apprentices from QinetiQ, Coca-Cola European Partners, Thales and BLP attended to share their views and questions on the future of apprenticeships. The discussion was chaired by Neil Carmichael MP, Chair, Education Select Committee alongside guest speaker, Sue Husband, Executive Director at the National Apprenticeship Service. 

  • Questions from the apprentices ranged in topic from the level of females in STEM careers to how to develop rounded employees and the availability of careers advice
  • Attendees discussed how schools and colleges can raise the profile of apprenticeships highlighting their value to that of a degree
  • Many of the apprentices in attendance also raised concerns surrounding women in engineering. In order to inspire more women into this sector, it was concluded that there needs to be more active engagement from role models within the engineering sector
  • Looking into the future diversity must be embraced in all apprenticeships, regardless of age, gender, background and circumstances – this is particularly vital in BAME communities taking STEM subjects. 

Promoting Diversity in Engineering

On Wednesday 15 March the IPT, in partnership with Aston University, held a breakfast meeting to discuss Promoting Diversity in Engineering. The session was chaired by Carol Monaghan MP, SNP Spokesperson for Public Services and Education. The event featured speakers Dan Forbes-Pepitone, Talent and Capability Director at Skanska, and Professor Alison Hodge MBE, Professor of Engineering Leadership at Aston University. The meeting focused on how increased diversity can help to promote and foster ‘different thinking’ in workplaces that benefits creativity and innovation. 

  • Attendees discussed how practical exercises play a formative role in developing engineering skills and interest, placing importance to promote these among young children, especially young girls 
  • A further point of discussion was how to emphasise and celebrate the legacy left by engineering works and projects in order to improve the standing of engineering in the eyes of the next generation.

Affordable Housing

On Tuesday 21 March the IPT hosted a breakfast meeting, in association with City of London Corporation, discussing Affordable Housing. The breakfast was chaired by Clive Betts MP, Chair, Select Committee on Communities and Local Government with guest speakers from the British Property Federation and the City of London Housing Management. 

  • The meeting discussed the challenges of ‘affordable’ housing for people both in the public and private sector 
  • The group explored how rapid increase in population and migration into London is contributing to the UK’s housing shortage 
  • Looking to the future the group’s concluding theme was how the UK could look at international solutions in order to increase the supply of housing i.e. comparing cities from across the globe. 

The Opportunities and Challenges of a Circular Economy 

On Wednesday 22 March 2017 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast meeting on the topic of The Opportunities and Challenges of a Circular Economy. By bringing together industry experts and parliamentarians this meeting created a platform for discussion on the benefits that the UK could achieve by adopting a more circular approach. 

  • Throughout the discussion three notable themes emerged; market challenges, structural implications and consumer perceptions
  • It was identified that in order to achieve a circular economy, the entire proportion of the consumer landscape must shift from a ‘throw away’ society to one that monitors our external consumption and behaviour
  • The lack of recycling resources available within the UK was a key theme; implying that we could do and learn more from international recycling schemes and plants.

Ensuring a Sustainable Future for the Extractive Industries

On Wednesday 29 March 2017 the IPT hosted a dinner discussion, Ensuring a Sustainable Future for the Extractive Industries. The discussion was chaired by Pauline Latham OBE MP, PPS to Sir Alan Duncan as Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with guest speaker Matthew Bateson, Global Practice Leader, Environment and Legacy Management at Rio Tinto.  The discussion looked into waste management within mining, decarbonisation, impacts on local communities and the use of intellectual property

  • The group noted that future investment in low carbon technologies could lead to decarbonisation of the mining industry
  • Attendees discussed current issues around waste management due to the level of excess water used in mines and how best to dispose of this; alongside the use of oil as an energy resource 
  • Looking to the future it was discussed how there could be an increase in community engagement from mining companies in order to ensure that there is support on a local level.