A seminar to explore new approaches to planning and provision for young people was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Dordrecht last month.
The Sussex Exchange was buzzing with ideas as the half-day seminar, held on January 30, discussed innovative ways of benefitting young people as well as the local economy.
The meeting was organised by My Future Starts Here, an independent, locally-based careers company, as part of a two-day professional exchange visit to Hastings by a delegation from Dordrecht, in the Netherlands.
The visiting group, led by the Deputy Mayor of Dordrecht, had a full programme during their time in Hastings, including a visit to Kurt J Lesker Company, a local business at the cutting edge of developments in vacuum technology, and a reception at Sussex Coast College attended by Cllr Bruce Dowling, the Mayor of Hastings, and Cllr. Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council.
They also visited The St Leonards Academy and the College’s Ore Valley campus, where they were entertained by the Hastings Association of Twin Towns.
The seminar was formally opened by the Mayor of Hastings . Its focus was on how to ensure that education, skills and local enterprise meet the needs of a fast changing and competitive global labour market.
Delegates came from a variety of backgrounds – local businesses, secondary, further and higher education, local government and community groups.
The speakers from Dordrecht included Alderman Bert van de Burgt, André Boer, CEO of Krohne Altometer, Marloes de Vries, Executive Board member of da Vinci College and Rein Meester, CEO, Leerpark. Local presentations came from Adam Bartlett, managing director of Kurt J Lesker , Jenny Jones, executive principal of the Hastings and St Leonards Academies and Dan Shelley, vice principal of Sussex Coast College. Sarah Owen, Labour’s parliamentary candidate and advocate for the visit, ended the event with a short speech.
The seminar delivered a key message of collaborate, imagine and create opportunities, which was explored through presentations and discussion. The importance of innovation as a tool for success was clearly demonstrated by what is being achieved in Dordrecht, and one speaker gave a clear message by saying, “We either innovate or we become dinosaurs.”
My Future Starts Here, led by its founders Pru Blackwell and Carrie Normoyle, works with schools, colleges, local businesses and other organisations in East Sussex.