The Industry Forum Ltd, 20 St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AG, London
+44 (0)20 7434 0090
The Industry Forum Ltd, 20 St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AG, London

As pandemic restrictions continue they are increasing the number of issues affecting all aspects of higher education, vocational, and skills training. Students are facing stress over exam grading assessments, remote working, and problems in transitioning to work in the difficult labour market. Equally employers, under stress themselves, need to recruit from a pool of young people who may not have had the usual education and training. Overlaying these issues is the need to help all workers adapt to new conditions in a rapidly evolving and increasingly digital world economy. Kate Green, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, will lead a discussion on developing the policies that will help the UK in ‘Getting higher education right for 21st Century’.

Kate Green, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Kate Shoesmith, Director of Sales & Marketing, Recruitment & Employment Confederation

Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive EngineeringUK

Özlem Onaran, Professor of Economics, University of Greenwich

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Much discussion of Brexit has focused on increased friction for physical goods. The UK, however, does much, profitable services trade with the EU, underpinned by data flows. This is particularly significant for the UK financial services and technology sectors. While the UK was a member of the EU, EU-UK data flows were uninhibited, and the now invalidated Privacy Shield delivered unrestricted UK-US data flows. The post-Brexit threats to EU-UK data flows are set out in a UCL report. At this virtual roundtable, Oliver Patel, one of the report authors will lead a discussion of the business implications  of this change with other leading experts. This will be followed by a Q&A.

Speakers include:

Oliver Patel, Consulting Associate, Industry Forum and Manager, UCL European Institute

Mark Garnier MP, Member, International Trade Select Committee

Eleonor Duhs, Director (Barrister) at Fieldfisher LLP

Raoul Lumb, Senior Associate, Simons Muirhead & Burton LLP


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The pandemic has led to an amazing transformation in our use and appreciation of the benefits of digital technologies. New possibilities abound in, for example, education, work, manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare, and these could recharge our damaged economy and provide fresh opportunities for people whose jobs have disappeared. The Labour party is keen to develop policies that can seize such new opportunities while providing safeguards against the significant dangers that the digital environment can bring. Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Digital, will outline Labour’s digital policy framework and the key questions that she would like to discuss. Our expert panel will respond followed by a general Q&A.

The speakers will be:


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For over half a century, it has been widely (and conveniently) assumed that deep-rooted social problems of inequality and lack of diversity could be largely decoupled from economic and business policies and actions. 21st century crises, notably the 2008 banking crash, and the on-going corona virus pandemic, have however pushed these issues to centre-stage. To make effective changes do we need better awareness training, better legislation, better laws, or to look at the culture in our schools and universities? This expert panel will explore these questions and discuss some promising developments and what else needs to be done. Speakers include:


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We will never know the full cost in lives and money of the procurement problems that arose in the UK during the initial wave of the Covid 19 pandemic. It is clear, however, that multiple shortcomings in PPE and intensive care equipment procurement and supply chain management occurred. As Covid 19 has not disappeared, it is important to learn what went wrong as soon as possible, and so the Industry Forum held a virtual round table, on the topic of ‘Lessons in managing procurement and supply chains in an emergency’. Speakers were: Bill Esterson MP for Sefton Central, Sandeep Goel, Senior VP - Technology, for the fast growing Indian procurement platform Moglix, and Dr Chris Francis, Director of Government Relations, SAP. SAP operates the major, international ARIBA commercial platform and hosted the meeting. Many of the problems identified could have been avoided by stronger and better planning and operational control. This would also have enabled the UK health sector to operate more effectively with suppliers and procurement platforms and learn from their expertise and international experience. We may soon know if such lessons have been understood and applied.

After a decade in which the dark side of big tech came sharply into focus, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically demonstrated positive and empowering aspects of digital technology. It is not an exaggeration to say that education, the world of work, and healthcare are being transformed. It has also shown that some people and businesses are badly hampered by inadequate UK digital services availability and personal connectivity. The effect of digital inequality has thus been magnified by the pandemic. This workshop will look at the broad framework of UK digital inequality and outline how this impacts education, work, and health care. It will discuss broadly how these issues could be addressed, how to prioritise what needs to be done, and the benefits of doing so. The workshop will be restricted to 16 people to enable everyone attending to contribute to the discussion. You are invited to submit questions and papers in advance to:

The framework of UK digital inequality – Klaudia Chmielowska, Industry Forum Research Associate
Prof Jillian Farquhar, Southampton Solent University
Jay Morton, Associate Architect at Bell Phillips Architects
Prioritising actions – Rod Dowler, Industry Forum

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