The North can lead the next industrial revolution and business leaders need to work more closely with educationalists to achieve that.

That was the message from one of the UK’s leading employers at a Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) skills roundtable event hosted by UTC Sheffield.

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and NPP Board member, was in Sheffield to hear the views of business leaders on training the next generation of talent to kickstart a Northern-led industrial revolution

Discussions at UTC Sheffield City Centre campus, on Matilda Street, also covered automation, robotics and how existing employees can retrain in the high tech skills needed for the future.

The event, on May 10th, was organised by the NPP, which recently launched their Educating the North report calling on closer partnerships between employers, schools and colleges.

Henri Murison, NPP Director, said: “The Northern Powerhouse is the only place in the UK with the people, resources, heritage and know-how to lead the next industrial revolution. Key to that is ensuring we have the skilled workforce required for jobs in robotics, AI and VR. The roundtable we held at the Sheffield UTC was an invaluable opportunity to hear from businesses, universities and local government about how we equip the next generation with the skills they need.”

Nick Crew, Executive Principal, UTC Sheffield, added: “We were delighted to host this event and contribute to an important debate that has repercussions for the whole of the North. The UTC already works closely with employers. They support our curriculum because they want to train the next generation for the future success of their sectors, communities and region, contributing to job creation.”

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are technical schools that have been created to reflect the skills needs of regional employers, supporting economic growth and employment.

Students can attend from the age of 13 and complete technical qualifications alongside GCSEs and A Levels. UTCs offer technical specialisms that reflect the skills their regional employers and economies need to grow, and are backed by employers.

Representatives from Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and Yorkshire Water attended the skills roundtable well as those from the NPP and UTC.

The NPP Educating the North report, published in February, calls for Northern employers to commit to providing an inspirational experience of the world of work to young people every year. See more at

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