Weekly Events Roundup: June 1st - June 4th | IPT

This week we held four virtual events covering topics from decarbonisation to sustainability in food production. We were delighted to be joined by some high-profile speakers and chairs including Stephen Marcos Jones, CEO at UKPIA, Catherine McGuiness from the City of London and Kate Green OBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education.

Prevent a Lost Generation: Supporting Education and Skills Development

On Tuesday 01 June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Preventing a Lost Generation: Supporting Education and Skills Development.’ The discussion was chaired by Kate Green OBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and welcomed guest speakers Patrick Craven, Director of Assessment Policy, Research and Compliance, City & Guilds, Angela Donkin, Chief Social Scientist, National Foundation for Educational Research and Dr James Shuttleworth, Programme Director, Institute of Coding, Coventry University. The discussion focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on education and what steps need to be considered to ensure pupils catch up on.

Key discussion points:

  • The coronavirus pandemic has led to polarisation between industries in the UK. Hospitality and the arts sector have seen closure during the majority of Government restrictions whilst other sectors such as care and logistics have experienced opposite impacts. There is a need to provide people with transferable skills, allowing them to move between roles and sectors
  • Progress in digital skills over the last 10 years has not been as advanced as expected. Should digital literacy be considered as important as other core academic abilities?
  • Schools are too often judged only on academic performance aspects. How can the system adapt to value practical/vocational talents as equal to academic capabilities?
  • Would extended teaching hours truly be beneficial to providing additional help for children who are severely behind in their learning, particularly for those who are disadvantaged? How could teachers be supported in this potential scheme?

Reaching Net Zero: Transforming the Oil Sector

On Tuesday 1st June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Reaching Net Zero: Transforming the Oil Sector.’ The discussion was chaired by Peter Aldous MP, Offshore Oil and Gas Industry APPG and welcomed guest speakers Stephen Marcos Jones, Director General, UKPIA and Susan Smart, Head of Oil and Gas, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. The discussion focused on how Government and industry can work together to ensure a system-based approach and policy framework that will help reduce emissions and create new jobs.

Key discussion points:

  • The importance of clustering within the industry. Although clusters are a relatively new idea, they are a means to grow the hydrogen economy. Aiming to grow investment within hydrogen technologies as well as providing communities with secure jobs by creating them.
  • The growing need for the industry to retain highly skilled staff whilst also targeting mid-level skilled employees to ensure that they keep building on their expertise and transition up the pipeline.
  • The governments hydrogen strategy and the need for clear appraisal of demand to help support investment decisions. Using a systems-based approach to ensure that hydrogen is considered a crucial part of a range of decarbonisation projects.

From Field to Fork: Ensuring a Resilient Food Supply

On Wednesday 02 June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘From Field to Fork: Ensuring a Resilient Food Supply.’ The discussion was chaired by Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs and welcomed guest speakers David Webster, Director of Sustainability & External Affairs, Associated British Foods - UK Grocery Division and Professor Moya Kneafsey, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. The discussion focused on the challenges brought forward by Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy and the effects of both COVID-19 and Brexit on the UK’s food system.

Key discussion points:

  • 4m people work in food supply chains in the UK which has some of the lowest food prices in the world. COVID-19 was the biggest shock to the UK food industry since the Second World War, however, supply chains proved to be resilient
  • Food needs to be considered as a holistic food system, affecting all parts of everyday life. There is a collective responsibility to improve UK citizen’s diets and address the obesity crisis whilst educating consumers on nutrition and healthy choices
  • New trade deals post-Brexit are considered potentially risky without the UK food strategy ready in place. There is concern of exporting the UK’s carbon footprint to other parts of the world if deals are made with nations that do not follow a comprehensive, sustainable food strategy

Reinvigorating London Post-COVID

On Wednesday 2nd June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT), with support from the City of London Corporation, hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Reinvigorating London Post-COVID.’ The discussion was chaired by Nickie Aiken MP, Member for Cities of London and Westminster and welcomed guest speakers Catherine McGuinness, Chair, Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation and Nick Bowes, Chief Executive, Centre for London. The discussion focused on How can we ensure London’s future success as the world’s most innovative and sustainable business ecosystem; an attractive place to invest, work, live and visit.

Key discussion points:

  • The focus on building back better across London. This needs to be about building a fairer, more equal city, ensuring groups such as students are not left behind.
  • How COVID has had a profound impact on the core strengths of London, many of these strengths have been achilleas heals during the pandemic. Highlighting the importance of reassessing how hybrid working will require much structural change within the city.
  • The emphasis that the recovery of London will need to be a sustainable one. Focusing on clean and greener options for London and promoting investment as a driving factor when it comes to innovation for the city.
  • How to attract domestic tourism to the UK in a year of the staycation? It is clear that tourism, return to workplace and transport are crucially interlinked.