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Leeds Trinity to explore construction sector skills and innovation challenges


As part of the upcoming West Yorkshire Innovation Festival, Leeds Trinity will host an event exploring how a younger, more diverse and increasingly innovative workforce can be developed in the Construction and the Built Environment industry.


Taking place on Wednesday 15 November from 8.30am to 1.30pm at The Marriott Hotel in Leeds city centre, Skills and Innovation Challenges in Construction and the Built Environment will bring together industry experts to discuss how current skills shortages can be addressed. 

The opening keynote will be delivered by Mark Farmer, Chief Executive and Founding Director of Cast Consultancy, where he will consider the recommendations of his acclaimed 2016 ‘Modernise or Die’ report on the construction industry.  

Attendees will also hear from employers in addition to an industry panel featuring leading expert voices including Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Gill Hancock, Head of Qualifications and Standards at the Association for Project Management (APM), Steven Thompson, Senior Specialist – Construction at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and Don Ward, Chief Executive of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB).  

This comes as the University will welcome students in September 2024 to a suite of new programmes in Construction and the Built Environment to meet the increasing employment needs within this expanding sector, alongside its successful Supply Chain Leadership Degree Apprenticeship 

The introduction of these programmes brings further opportunity for research and knowledge exchange work, short courses and an international CBE offer.  

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “It’s great to see our West Yorkshire Innovation Festival back.   

“This is a fantastic week-long celebration of brilliant minds and business who are working towards creating a brighter and stronger region. 

“Innovation drives our economy and I’m delighted we have another opportunity to support local businesses in West Yorkshire working to make a global difference.” 

Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, whose research interests focus on project management, construction management and sustainable development, said: “As a career-led University, we are committed to taking a leading role on skills and talent development, and I’m particularly pleased to be able to contribute to this significant discussion on Construction and the Built Environment at the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2023, given my academic background.  

“This is a key opportunity to bring together industry and experts to explore innovative new methods to attract new talent to the industry and ensure that we support a more diverse workforce through our new programmes at the University.  

“As an Anchor institution, we are proud that we can support events like the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival to encourage collaboration and skills development, aligning with Leeds Trinity’s Strategic Plan and our ambition to increase our contribution to the Leeds City Region.”   

The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival is now in its third year, created by the West Yorkshire Innovation Network and co-ordinated by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). The festival brings together businesses, entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds, and experts to share resources and support, and showcase the innovation happening across the region.   

The festival is taking place from Monday 13 to Friday 17 November and features a range of diverse events to celebrate and inspire innovation in the region. 

Further information about Skills and Innovation Challenges in Construction and the Built Environment on Wednesday 15 November can be found on the Leeds Trinity University events page 

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