Shoosmiths teams up with RBS and KPMG for Thames Valley Business Leaders’ Dinner

Shoosmiths recently teamed up with RBS and KPMG for the Thames Valley Business Leaders’ Dinner in Reading. The event, held at the Hilton hotel, brought together business leaders from across the region to exchange views, share best practice and learn from each other.

More than 150 guests heard from keynote speaker John Pienaar, broadcaster and BBC Radio 5 Live’s chief political correspondent, who explained some of the key issues the main political parties must address in the run-up to next year’s general election.

Emma Gibson, corporate partner at Shoosmiths, said: ‘As business leaders, the Thames Valley region offers us many advantages but there are also challenges too. The brain drain of talent to London remains an ongoing issue, as does the growing shortage of candidates in the job market with the relevant skills.

‘As a business community it is incumbent on all of us to tackle these challenges and find solutions to them; we can do this through our local enterprise partnerships and I urge businesses to actively engage with the partnership’s plans for the region.’

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) predicts that employers will not be able to make the most of the recovery because they are unable to find candidates with the right skills for more than one in five job vacancies. Around 22 per cent or 124,800 of 559,600 job vacancies in England are so-called ‘skills shortage vacancies’, according to the latest UKCES report.

The number of job vacancies with a skills shortage has almost doubled since 2009, while the overall number of job vacancies has risen by 45 per cent and is back to pre-crisis levels.