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Norfolk Business Awards: ‘Entrepreneurial spirit should be nurtured’

PUBLISHED: 09:30 20 August 2020

Norwich Research Park has a unique mix that blends a major university teaching hospital with a leading university and internationally important research institutes    Picture: Norwich Research Park

Norwich Research Park has a unique mix that blends a major university teaching hospital with a leading university and internationally important research institutes Picture: Norwich Research Park

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The Norfolk Business Awards 2020 is officially open for entries! David Parfrey, executive chair at Norwich Research Park, tells us more about the Skills of Tomorrow award.

Why have you chosen to support the Norfolk Business Awards?

As a sponsor of the Norfolk Business Awards, we are committed to building strong relationships with the business communities in the county.

It’s something that’s central to our mission. We are building a community of communities to deliver world-leading research that will positively change the lives of people across the world.

And, it’s for that reason we are privileged to be a sponsor.

David Parfrey, executive chair at Norwich Research Park    Picture: Norwich Research ParkDavid Parfrey, executive chair at Norwich Research Park Picture: Norwich Research Park

What attributes are businesses looking for in the workforce of the future?

There is now a much broader and less rigid way in which employers look at prospective employees. Attributes like creativity, initiative, ability to learn, flexibility, confidence, specialisms are all valued much higher than they were 10 years ago.

Married with tradional values such as commitment, industry and sociability means that there should be a place for every young person that wants to play an active role in the Norfolk business community.

How can the business community help to maximise opportunities for young people to succeed in their careers?

We have to think differently. Young people have different expectations, ambitions and fears. Our world is their future so we need to make the effort to better align careers to a broader and more diverse set of skills and a greater variety of entry points.

Apprenticeships, internships, work experience should all be encouraged. The entrepreneurial spirit should be nurtured and role modelling showcased so that young people can see the possibilities in real terms.

Why is it so important to recognise the businesses and organisations that are striving to help the next generation to prosper?

Firstly, it is to recognise the initiative and proactivity of an organisation that has gone out of its way to make a difference.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it is to demonstrate to everyone else what can be done and the positive impact it has on the people they help and its own culture and well-being.

Being a force for good should never be underestimated nor neglected if you are running a business or organisation.

What will you be looking for in the winner of your category?

The Skills of Tomorrow award will celebrate those that are equipping the next generation with the right skills and attitudes to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

We are looking for an organisation that has developed innovative ideas that can be seen to have made a difference. One that can evidence how it has delivered useful skills, positive attitudes and well-being for the next generation.

This award is a bit different in that it is open to schools, academy chains, academic institutions and charities as well as businesses.

What advice would you give those who are considering entering?

We are all facing into a number of global challenges that will affect our lives unless we do something about it. Covid-19 has taught us that we cannot afford to be complacent about the future and that we need to skill our communities to deal with these challenges.

It’s also brought us together and galvanised a spirit of collaboration and support that we must harness for the benefit of our collective futures.

If you have contributed to developing the skills for tomorrow then we want to recognise your efforts, so please do enter.

Skills of Tomorrow award criteria

Equipping the next generation with the right skills and attitudes to meet the challenges of tomorrow is essential to our future growth, we need to foster their imagination, innovation and invention.

Schools can only do so much with the resources they have and it is the responsibility of businesses and the community to work with them to produce the workforce of the future.

This award seeks to recognise the businesses and organisations that are striving to meet this challenge.

Judges will be looking for organisations with innovative ideas that are delivering results with evidence of
how they are making a difference.

They will be looking for entries that go beyond the curriculum and contribute to developing useful skills, positive attitudes and wellbeing.

Entries are welcomed from businesses, schools, academy chains, academic institutions and charities striving to put in place practices or procedures to enable the next generation to prosper.

To enter the Norfolk Business Awards visit www.norfolkbusinessawards.co.uk


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