The finalists in the Skills of Tomorrow category at the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:02 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:34 17 October 2018

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

Copyright 2017

Introducing the finalists in the Skills of Tomorrow category of the Norfolk Business Awards 2018, sponsored by Lotus – and what our judges thought of them.

• Netmatters

Established in 2008, Netmatters provides reliable solutions to businesses across a variety of industries. It is a leading web design, IT support and digital marketing agency, employing more than 50 people across two offices in Wymondham and Gorleston. Despite being part of a very competitive sector, the business has seen an average year-on year growth of 40% and aims to continue to expand and provide a quality service to companies throughout East Anglia.

Judges’ comments: Netmatters boast an innovative programme to ensure it and other organisations fill the skills gap there is for “coders” in the technological world. It has understood clearly where there is a skills gap locally, and designed a solution to address this. Not only this, Netmatters is also taking account of the soft skills required in business and so, as well as technical training, it is providing softer training to ensure the “Scions” are employment-ready. The judges met the “Scions” currently in the programme, saw some of their work and were impressed with the speed at which they have developed and honed a difficult technical skill.

• KakeCo

KakeCo is a management consultancy working with global brands to create asset value through the understanding of consumer, digital and current trends. KakeCo has built a reputation as one of the leading agencies helping asset owners, chief executive officers and traditional businesses understand the needs of a modern consumer and this has been one of the catalysts for the #DigitalCity skills project which is now in its third year.

Judges’ comments: The judges were very impressed with KakeCo’s offering and the focus on supporting brands with staying relevant in today’s market. Its submission for this category took account of businesses’ needs in filling skills gaps in digital while also supporting children and parents to better understand the opportunities available and the hidden gems of organisations in the local area to work for. The judges were encouraged by Kieran Miles’s passion for the local area and Norfolk as a whole, and impressed by his thoughts on how to revolutionise traditional recruitment. The need and desire to design a KakeCo app is encouraging and shows that the team have a lot of growth potential left to fulfil.

• The Kinetic Science Foundation

The Kinetic Science Foundation is a charity which, through the power of STEM activities, enthuses and inspires the next generation of young people. The charity started with an idea, £5 in a coat pocket and some test tubes, growing to a team of 14, with money in the bank and 81,000 people having used one of Kinetic’s Roadshows in the first three years.

Judges’ comments: The Kinetic Science Foundation recognises the importance of a good grounding in science for many roles in business, while appreciating the challenges that teachers can face in delivering classes that bring science to life. The foundation is an example to others in the way it educates our future stars with the skills they need to succeed tomorrow. Due to its dedication to the cause, the foundation has seen great growth over its three years in existence and has some exciting plans for the future. It is currently working on opening a science centre in Bury St Edmunds, planning a schedule of future festivals and exploring options for a top-secret but exciting new proposition and experience for the region.

• The College of West Anglia

Founded in 1893, the College of West Anglia now trains more than 7,500 students each year, and is one of the largest providers of education and training in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, with an exceptional track record of developing the skills and talents of its students. This is achieved through a combination of great teaching by a team of highly-trained, industry experienced staff and excellent, modern facilities designed to prepare students for employment and further study.

Judges’ comments: The College of West Anglia helps students and prepares them for the future. Delivering a skilled workforce into jobs personifies exactly why the skills of tomorrow are so important. The judges were especially impressed with the way the college has embraced the inclusion of local companies and employers, such as Anglian Water, to feed directly into their apprentice programmes and full-time employment, while modifying the course content to include modern and relevant skills. The college also follows leavers’ progress and accepts their feedback for future students.

MORE: Revealed: The finalists for the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

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