New skills group is helping to boost the local economy

A new Skills Group bringing together leading Telford employers has been launched to prepare the region for future skills needs, and provide enhanced opportunities for youngsters.

The Skills Group, launched by Telford Business Board, held its first meeting at Telford College.

It is a combined effort by local business leaders to share insight into sector-specific skills gaps they face, enhance the quality and variety of higher education on offer to young people, and help the region’s job economy recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Chairing the new Skills Group panel is Mark Thompson, managing director of AceOn, a specialist battery manufacturer and supplier, who said he was passionate about the importance of skills development through higher education.

“During my 30-year career I’ve employed hundreds of individuals across various roles so I absolutely understand the needs that businesses have and the different skillsets they require.

“New jobs and new skills will be key to how we as a country recover from the Covid-economic recession.

“The Skills Group will help us understand the challenges we face in our individual sectors through identifying skills and training gaps, and will support us all in working collaboratively to improve the quality and variety of higher education on offer to young people in the region.”

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College, said: “The future of education needs to be built around imaginative and creative collaboration, and we are keen to work closely with partners across a wide variety of business sectors.”

The first quarterly meeting included leaders from AceOn, Telford College, Muller, Balfour Beatty, Wolverhampton University, Harper Adams University, Telford & Wrekin Council, Protolabs, and CMK Electrical.

Paul Hinkins, chair of Telford Business Board, added: “Together, we’re dedicated to helping young people, and our board has an excellent combined knowledge to support WEXP, Industry placements, T Levels, apprenticeships and higher education.

“We’d like to offer our thanks to Telford College for hosting our very first meeting — the team went above and beyond to ensure the safety of our attendees.

“We are very keen to ensure all sectors are represented, so I’d encourage anyone interested in joining the Skills Group to email for more information.”

Telford Business Board is made up of a dynamic collection of outstanding business leaders and sector champions which represent a wide variety of industries.

An organisation committed to driving positive change, TBB helps to bring together the public and private sectors, and act as a bridge between the diverse and vibrant sectors which make up the Telford business community.

For more information, please visit or email


Skip to content