Education experts share future vision at NWCH Breakfast Event

The NWCH Breakfast Event brought together a panel of education experts to answer questions on the constraints and challenges around funding and capital works now and in the future.  Jared Allen, Interim Director of Capital Programmes at Manchester City Council, and Chair of the NWCH Board, opened the event, held at the GM Chamber of Commerce, handing swiftly over to Roy Cavanagh CBE, host for the morning.

Roy introduced the panel members, asked questions, and fielded comments from the audience.

The following topics were discussed:

Construction, the Economy and the Skills Gap – Construction is the one true barometer of the economy”

Christian Spence, Head of Research & Policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, started by setting the scene with a presentation about construction output, and its success since the double dip recession   

FE and the funding challenge – Colleges are often seen as the Cinderella of the education sector

Pat Farrell, Head of Corporate and Capital Development at Hugh Baird College, highlighted the benefits and challenges to the FE sector of estates development and management.  

Attracting more young people to the industry – Putting career choices in the hands of those who only know education is a real worry (for construction)

Barry Cullen Future Talent Director at RICS, picking up the skills challenge, talked about current RICS initiatives to encourage young people into surveying as a career.  

School places in high demand – “We are land-poor

Sean McGonigle, Director of Trading Services at Manchester City Council, responded to a question on the main challenges faced by Councils by giving some hard facts: the city’s population grew by 19% from 2001 to 2011.

Education procurement – Clumsy – There is a need to move away from capital cost to life cycle costs – this is the key going forward

Mo Isap, Co-Founder and Trustee Tauheedul Education Trust and GM LEP Board Member, was asked about the effectiveness of current procurement strategies for Academy Trusts.  

Universities and Partnerships – There is a need to develop more porous boundaries between industry and educational institutions

Jo Purves, Pro Vice Chancellor for International and Regional Partnership, University of Salford, emphasised  the importance of partnership to universities.


You can download a more detailed summary of the discussion and resources from the event below:

Event Summary





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