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Anchors and their Role in the Workforce & Skills Development


This event was the 4th in a series of Anchor Learning Events held by Essex Partners, which focused on Workforce & Skills Development and how Anchors can play a key role in creating social value whilst shaping the skills and talent of our residents. We welcomed speakers from our home-county as well as those across the UK, and for the first time we were also joined by speakers from the private sector, who shared learning and experience from their own programmes of work.

The agenda included:


Current & Future Skills Priorities for Essex - Louise Aitken (Essex County Council/South East LEP) provides us with an overview of some of the broader skills challenges currently being faced in Essex and the wider South East geography. We also hear about opportunities for the future, with particular focus on the development of the employer-led Essex Skills Plan, and what it means for Anchors and the communities we serve.


Leadership, Resourcing & Succession Programme - Kay Shelley (Essex County Fire & Rescue Service) shares ECFRS' approach to growing talent internally through their Leadership, Resourcing and Succession Programme, giving everyone the opportunity to work towards achieving their career goals, illustrating development and progression through more effective succession planning and targeted development.


A Better Start Southend’s Work Skills Programme - Tara Poole (A Better Start Southend) demonstrates the Work Skills project, a project that provides a holistic package of skills development and practical support to provide parents with the qualifications, confidence and opportunity to enter the workforce, complete training or change careers.

The ABSS programme is a 10-year National Lottery Community Fund programme seeking to ensure that children in Southend have the best start in life. Proactive workforce development threads through projects, programmes and partnership organisations. Through their commitment to building community resilience, projects are commissioned and services are developed that support families to survive and thrive where there may be vulnerability and uncertainty.


Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs - Sean McGovern (NatWest) shares insights from their ‘Dream Bigger Programme’ within schools, which aims to develop transferrable entrepreneurial skills in 16-18 year olds and increase the number of women starting their own business. NatWest champions the potential of people and helps them to thrive by providing individuals with the skills needed for the future world of work.


Creating a Talent Pipeline at Entry Level - Helen Clements (Morgan Sindall Construction) presents on how Morgan Sindall are helping to bridge the skills gap in East Anglia through engaging in and delivering a number of initiatives to inspire the next generation of professionals and to nurture new talent and skills within young people. Their work in this field is also helping to improve gender diversity and increase awareness of careers within the industry.


We were thrilled to welcome over fifty people who came to learn more about what anchor organisations can do to create social value whilst shaping the skills and talent of our residents. We’d like to thank all speakers for their presentations.

This Learning Event was the latest in a series that will continue over the coming months, each focussing on a different lever that organisations can use to help shape their local community. For further information on these events, please check for updates on, or e-mail