Insights into recruiting and retaining staff at North Wales conference

An event to help North Wales employers develop their workforce

Employers from across North Wales gathered at Venue Cymru, Llandudno last week to share experiences and hear from the experts on everything workforce-related – from skills development to managing Gen Z.

The conference arranged by the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership (RSP) was attended by over 150 delegates, including many prominent names from businesses across the region. Delegates heard from keynote speaker, Craig Weeks of JCB who delivered a personal perspective on skills development, as well as from a panel of experts, who shared views on innovative solutions to challenges linked to attracting and retaining talent.

Opening the conference RSP Chair, David Roberts, emphasised the significance of the event as an important platform for employers to address pressing issues in workforce management. Reflecting on the day, where he led a session on harnessing employee engagement, David wants to encourage a shared responsibility among employers to adapt and innovate in their approach to attracting and developing skilled workers.

David, who has supported North Wales SME leaders through business advisory service The Alternative Board for almost a decade, said: “An important strand of crafting the region’s skills and employability plan was consulting company leaders to understand the key issues they are facing.

“With recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce high on the agenda, we hope the conference helped SMEs connect with education and training bodies, not only to ensure their own growth but to boost resilience and prosperity throughout the region.

“The day was filled with opportunities to receive advice, and from the feedback we’ve already received, the employers in attendance are feeling more confident to look for the relevant support they need.”

Sian Lloyd Roberts, Regional Skills Manager added: “It was great to welcome organisations from across so many sectors to the conference – it really gave us an opportunity to look as what the similarities are and how we can work together to tackle some of the issues.

“We know that attracting, developing, and retaining talent are among the main challenges facing North Wales businesses, so we were keen to bring everyone together to explore solutions to some of these common issues.”

As well as hearing from David Roberts and Craig Weeks, event speakers included Alwen Williams, Portfolio Director at Ambition North Wales; Mike Learmond from the FSB; and Nia Bennet, Chair of Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Specialist workshops were delivered by Dafydd Bowen, Director of Operations at Menter a Busnes and Lesley Griffiths Head of CIPD Cymru.

RSP partners, including education, training and service providers also participated as exhibitors, offering delegates an opportunity to discuss their skills requirements directly with the experts. With insights and strategies exchanged, attendees left equipped with ideas to help move their businesses forward in the current market.

North Wales event to help businesses 'find, develop and retain' workforce

An event to help North Wales employers develop their workforce

Attracting, developing, and retaining talent is still one of the main challenges facing North Wales businesses, according to recent research by the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership (RSP). In response, an event has been announced to give businesses, industry leaders and professionals an opportunity to explore solutions to overcome some of the issues they face.

At the event, to take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on the 26th of April, businesses will hear from experts about managing their workforce, and get valuable insights into becoming an employer of choice.  The keynote speaker is Craig Weeks, Director of Operations at JCB in Wrexham.

Since Craig joined the company, it has grown and now has over 22 plants worldwide, more than 750 dealers and 11,000 employees. Looking forward to the event, Craig said: "I know that for a business, the workforce is its most valuable asset, and I understand the importance of developing an effective team and the challenges that come with that. I started working for JCB 29 years ago as an axle assembler – I’ve worked my way up and learnt a lot along the way. I'm excited to share my story with colleagues from North Wales, and I hope that what I say can help and even inspire others.”

As well as hearing from Craig, event speakers include Alwen Williams, Portfolio Director at Ambition North Wales and David Roberts, Chair of the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership.

David, a previous HR leader, oversaw the growth of an SME to 950 staff across 25 locations globally; he now runs The Alternative Board in North Wales supporting other SME leaders to achieve their goals. He added: "I'm delighted that the RSP is hosting this event for employers. As a previous HR leader, and now supporting SME business owners in an advisory capacity, I have experienced the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees across a wide range of sectors.

"This will be a fantastic opportunity for businesses to come together to learn from each other. We are all facing similar issues across many sectors – an event like this will give us a platform to discuss solutions and best practices."

A panel discussion with representatives from the local business community and Federation of Small Businesses will also take place, and more focussed workshops will give delegates an opportunity to drill deeper into some of the main issues and get expert advice.

Hosted by the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership, the event is open to businesses of all sizes and industries that want support with recruiting, retaining, and developing employees. With numbers limited, businesses who are interested in attending are encouraged to book their place via link.

There will also be networking opportunities and a ‘meet the experts’ exhibition with organisations and institutions that support employers with their workforce challenges.


Event link: Taclo Heriau Gweithlu a Sgiliau | Navigating Workforce and Skill Challenges Tickets, Fri 26 Apr 2024 at 09:00 | Eventbrite