Macclesfield College hosted business leaders from across Cheshire in its annual CEO roundtable to explore the current skills needs of the local economy, and feed any learning into the college senior team.

The roundtable was chaired by MP David Rutley, and explored the ability of businesses to deal with the uncertain economic conditions and the challenges of attracting and retaining talent.

Attendees included CEOs from a variety of organisations including North Cheshire Chamber, Cheshire East Council, the NHS, Bruntwood, Astra Zeneca, Small Business Forum and Marton Meadows Golf Club.  They shared their concerns surrounding rising energy costs, inflation and the need to retain talent in the county.

The annual session has become a part of the business calendar and it’s a useful way to debate the challenges CEOs are facing at the moment. Relationships with Further Education partners are key to shaping and defining the courses and content that will help build the skills we need. Often students are gifted with lots of technical and subject information, but we’re delighted to see that employability skills are high on the agenda at Macclesfield, and making students ready for the world of work is a significant help to companies.

The round table revealed that excellent relationships were formed from last year’s roundtable with the Local Authority collaborating on Health and Social Care.

Principal and Chief Executive, Rachel Kay, explains: “As we start the new academic year, the CEO roundtable is an excellent way to remind ourselves how we as a college support our students and prepare them for employment. Skills are a key issue nationally and we need to build local talent for businesses at every level to ensure we grow and retain talent we’ve nurtured in Cheshire.

“We have some amazing businesses that are leaders in their field, as well as a network of SMEs that drive our local economy and we need to make sure their needs are reflected in the courses we offer.

“It was great to share the investment being made in our offer, from T-Levels in Construction, Digital and Healthcare here at Macclesfield College. As a college we are constantly adapting and reflecting the needs of the local employment market.”

David Rutley, MP, adds: “The CEO roundtable event at Macclesfield College is a session I always look forward to. Seeing the depth of talent across our business network is great, and building collaboration between our leading local stakeholders and the College is both rewarding and useful. We will continue to support them through the months ahead.”