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“Regional Strategies in Skills Development -Addressing the issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”. ECRN Congress of European Chemical Regions Network, Ludwigshafen,Germany Thursday 29 th November2007 George Ritchie SVP SembCorp Utilities

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“Regional Strategies in Skills Development -Addressing the issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”

ECRN Congress of European Chemical Regions Network, Ludwigshafen,Germany

Thursday 29th November2007

George Ritchie

SVP SembCorp Utilities

& Chair NEPIC Skills & Education Engagement

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Physical Centres issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”




Leadership Council

Regional Partnership

Leadership Council




Related Activities e.g.Bii

Related Activities e.g.PV North

Related Activities e.g.Tees Valley Hydrogen Project

Science & Industry Council

Private Finance

New Cluster

Cluster Development



Centre for Enabling Technology (Cenamps)



Management Skills


City Regions

One NorthEast Three Pillars Strategy to Develop the NE Economy

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Clusters…? issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”

Clusters are groups of inter-related industries that drive wealth creation in a region. Often they represent the entire value chain of a broadly defined industry from suppliers to end products, and are interconnected by the flow of goods and services throughout this chain.

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NE REGION -The Importance of NEPIC issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”

The region’s biggest industry sector

  • The Process Industry is absolutely critical to the North East economy

  • and to its successful development and prosperity

    • There are over 200 individual Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Speciality

    • and Biotechnology companies operating in the region producing a

    • total of £8.8 billion GDP.

Regional Direct Employment in Manufacturing

Regional GDP

Pharmaceutical & Speciality Petrochemical Other Industry

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Geographic Intimacy issue of the skills shortage facing industry in NE England Process Industries”




Speciality &

Base Chemical




Supply chain


Nepic s economic impact has many features of a true economic cluster l.jpg
NEPIC’s Economic Impact has many features of a true economic cluster

  • Teesside Petrochemical cluster is the largest integrated chemicals

  • complex in the UK in terms of manufacturing capacity

  • North East Pharmaceuticals includes the top three global pharmaceutical

  • manufacturers producing in excess of 33% of the UK’s pharmaceutical GDP

  • UK’s second largest port 70% occupied by Process Industry Goods

  • Largest non-military R&D Centre in Europe & see also next slide

  • Region has many top speciality and consumer products manufacturers

  • The Supply Chain of these combined industry sectors has more than 350

  • companies based in the North East

  • 350 of these companies are already formally engaged through membership

  • Together the companies in the combined cluster employ 34,000 people

  • directly with a further 280,000 are indirectly impacted

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> 350 companies have Industrial involvement in NEPIC economic cluster

Curvaceous Software


Davy Process Technology

Day Zimmermann


Degussa - Fine Organics

Dickinson Dees

Digital Speciality Chemicals

Dow - Haltermann

DRD Consultants

DSJ Consultants

Durham Organics

Edwards’ Analytical

Elementis Chromium



Exwold Technology

Faithful & Gould

Fine & Performance Chemicals

First Chambers

First Genesis

Foster Wheeler




Greenchemistry CIC



Hart Biologicals

High Force Research

Honeyman Group

Huntsman Petrochemicals

HyClone UK

ICI Measurement Science Group


Impact Faraday


Industrial Technology Systems

International Plastic Systems

Intertek Testing Services


James Robinson

Johnson Matthey Catalysts

Johnson Matthey Zircon

K Home International

Keane Analytical

Kelly Scientific Resources

ABB Eutech

ACS Dobfar


AES Laboratories

Aesica Pharmaceuticals

Air Prod (Gases)

Aker Kvaerner Engineering

Alexander Hughes Interim Management


Amicus the union MSF Section

Angel Biotechnology

Apple Action Planning

Applied Neurodiagnostics

Avecia Biologics

B T Bell Associates

B2B Manufacturing Centre



Baker Petrolite

BHR Group

Biosystems Informatics Institute

BKE Mowlem


Brassaire Containments

Business 550

Business Education Matters

C.N.A. International


Carbis Filtration

Carbon Trust

Career & Coaching

CEL International


CEM Event Management

Cenelic Standards Inspections



Clean Design

Cleveland Biotech


Cordell Group



Crane Process Flow Technology


Creative Gene Technology

Crystal Faraday

KT Associates

LDR Squared

Link Associates International

Lucite International

Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals


Manro Management Consulting


MCB Associates

McQuillan-Byrne Management

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Microchem Systems

Mills Advertising & Publicity

Mi-Services Group

Mottram Commissioning

Mowlem Engineering Solutions

MP Storage & Blending

NAP Partnership

NCD Separations Solutions

Newcastle Tool & Gauge

NewChem Technologies

Norman Hood Engineering

Nigel Wright Consultancy

Nitech Solutions

Nonlinear Dynamics

North Water


NRL Personnel Services

Octel Corporation

Onyx Scientific

Oxford Chemicals


Pentagon Chemical


Perry Process Equipment





Polo PR Partnership

PPD Technical

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Proctor & Gamble



Quality Quest

Quantachrome UK

Ray Thorp (Fire Safety

& Emergency Planning)


Renew Tees Valley

Rhodia Pharma Solutions

Roevin Management Services

Rohm & Haas

RTC North Ltd

Rutherford Chemicals


Durham School of Biological

& Biomedical Sciences

Scientific & Medical Products

SembCorp Simon-Carves

SembCorp Utilities Teesside

Solutions Recruitment



Simon Storage

SSL International

State of Louisiana

Synergy Interactive

Talent Engine



Tefen Europe



The Specials Laboratory

Thermal Detection

Thomas Broadbent & Sons

Thomas Swan


Tomlinson Hall





Velva Liquids

Ward Hadaway

Wolviston Management

WSP Environmental

Wynyard Consultants


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NEPIC GDP Growth and Investment Team economic cluster

The Team’s Challenge

The North East is short of £9 billion of GDP compared to the average

UK Region (per capita calculation)

The Process Industry is 25% of the NE Economy - £8 billion of £32 billion


Can the Industry contribute £2billion of additional GDP to help close this

GDP Gap within the next 10 years? (The Opportunity – The Leitch Dividend)

About £1800 productivity gain per employee in NE

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NEPIC is leading and aiming higher than ever before economic cluster

  • Marketing, Communication & Networking

  • Growing the activity to achieve regional spread, UK and Global recognition and the involvement of all sectors

  • Skills and Education

  • Expanding targeted activities in the adult skills and science education to deliver a better trained workforce across all sectors.

  • GDP Growth and Investment

  • Focusing regional resources to increase investment opportunities and indigenous growth

  • Trade Growth

  • Establishing a greater understanding of region, industry and company capability enabling companies to find and fulfill new business opportunities

  • Innovation, Research and Development

  • Creating Collaborative mechanisms to build projects between industrial and academic partners

  • Manufacturing & Productivity

  • Leveraging regional providers to drive performance and take up improvement programs

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NEPIC’s big idea economic cluster

  • Key to the development and delivery NEPIC’s programmes will be the sub-teams populated by more than 120 industry leaders from its sector in the North East who will lead and develop strategic priorities for the NEPIC executive and Industry support bodies in 7 programme areas:

  • Marketing, Communication & Networking

  • International Trade

  • Innovation

  • GDP gap closure & Investment

  • Manufacturing & Productivity

  • Skills & Education

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Some simple facts economic cluster

  • Today over 70% of our 2020 workforce have already completed their compulsory education

  • In UK one third of adults do not hold the equivalent of a basic school leaving qualification

  • One half of adults have difficulty with numbers

  • One seventh are not functionally literate

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The Leitch Vision and Ambition economic cluster –The Opportunity

  • UK to commit to becoming a world leader in skills by 2020

  • 95% adults achieve functional literacy & numeracy

  • Exceeding 90% of adult population qualified to at

    least Level 2 (currently 70%)

  • Shifting the balance of intermediate skills from Level

    2 to Level 3(doubling the number of apprentices to

    500K, most of growth from adults)

  • Exceeding 40% of adult population qualified to Level

    4 and above

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The Leitch Vision and Ambition economic cluster –The Opportunity continued

  • We all need to embrace it

  • Hasn’t sunk in yet

  • It actually means at least a doubling of the level of attainment (employers to change behaviours)

  • i.e. Every 2nd person in the NE needs to attain another level qualification than has now – Just to stand still

  • WHY:

  • Skilled workers are better able to adapt to new technologies and market opportunities

  • Higher levels of skills drive innovation, facilitate investment and improve leadership and management

  • Without world class skills, UK businesses will find it increasingly difficult to compete and innovate.

  • The Global playing field is changing fast – the biggest restructuring of the world economy since the rise of the USA e.g. over the next 10 years China & India will double in economic size – the UK will only be 25% bigger??

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The problem as we see it economic cluster

  • Fewer school children taking science plus 16 to 18 year old population going into decline from 2007

  • Insufficient technicians coming through via apprenticeships

  • Not enough engineering and science graduates – viewed as difficult

  • Difficulty recruiting engineers & scientists and demand is very high

    • Poor reputation of the industry

    • Lack of engagement over past 5 years from industry

  • New investment and technology is driving the need for recruitment and enhancing skills – both for construction and operation

  • New technologies require a new higher level of employee skills

  • Demographics –aging workforce 15% are over 55

  • Industry regionally has now more Global ownership and regionally need to be more productive/competitive –the forces of globalisation are not going to fade away, they are only getting stronger

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Process Industries: The Skills Gap! economic cluster

  • Growth is currently constrained by the lack of suitably qualified employees

    • Ageing workforce and shortage of new entrants

    • Inadequate training and development infrastructure

    • Limited transferable qualifications for individuals

    • Complicated funding mechanisms

    • Failure to keep pace with innovation

We in industry must take the initiative to solve our problem

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So our Challenge economic cluster TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  • I cannot get involved, I have not got the time.

  • UK Training and Education is not my concern, we are Singaporean owned.

  • I am only concerned when I cannot recruit.

  • It is a waste of time getting involved, it makes no difference.

  • We are expanding and in a high tech area, we have no problems.

  • We can hide our heads in the sand and pretend we won’t be affected – but the consequences will be disastrous – a slow but inevitable economic decline

    Does it have an Effect?

    Two multinational companies have stopped validation of training (not the training) as they lost too many people to the North Sea.

    Question: How much should an employer be involved ?

    Prime directive: Profit Key Question: Over what timescale?

    : is it a cost ? Or is it a value?

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Skills, Education and Engagement Team Organisation economic cluster

Workforce development, and retention

  • Strategy

  • Chair: George Ritchie

  • Secretariat: Cogent

  • Key Members: NEPIC, Industry, ONE,

  • SEMTA, LSC, Business Link

Attracting and engaging talent

  • Skills

  • Chair: George Ritchie

  • Secretariat : SEMTA

  • Key Members: NEPIC, Industry, Training providers, Cogent, LSC, HE/FE, NEHSN

Education & Engagement

Chair: Kevin Thrower

Secretariat: CIEC

Key Members: NEPIC, Industry,

Educationalists, SLC, FE/HE

Core purpose

Define the number, type and level of resources needed to support the growth plans within the Process industry in the North East of England.

Ensure that skills gaps and shortages are effectively addressed through improved utilisation, coordination and development of regional training provision.

Core purpose

Develop and implement the strategy to present the Process Industry in the North East of England as being an attractive place to work.

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Key issues economic cluster

  • Skills, Education & Engagement Action Plan.

  • Business Plan submission to ONE.

  • DVD’s produced for graduate recruitment/ Careers in Science – Choose your own adventure.

  • Closer working with Schools and universities

  • IMechE Great Skills Debate.

  • Careers Fairs.

  • Skills Survey – analysis by ONE.

  • National Skills Conference – York 16th to 17th July.

  • NE Skills & Education Conference – 8th November.

  • NSAPI.

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NEPIC – Business Plan for Science Education economic cluster

Industry Attractiveness Programme 2008 – 2011 to extend current programmes to reach over 1500 schools, 55K pupils and work with 6K teachers

A Business Plan that is central to the Process Industry’s need to attract 16,000 people into careers in the sector in the North East of England over the next 10 years.

The Business Plan has been endorsed by the Leadership Team and Member Companies and submitted to ONE.

Need to support our Science Education Units in the region along with SETPOINT (part of STEMNET) promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects to 5 – 19 year olds

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NEPIC Skills Survey – further analysis by ONE economic cluster

  • Skills Survey has been issued.

  • Need 400 apprentices per year.

  • Need 8,000 new technicians by 2015.

  • Need 8,000 new graduates by 2015.

  • Data have been supplied to NSAPI.

  • Data have been further analysed by ONE – meeting held to review this and action plan being drawn up for 2008 implementation.

  • Agreed with ONE that this will be an annual survey from NEPIC.

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Why the NorthEast Universities? economic cluster

  • Students already here, so positively disposed to region

  • Easier to build a relationship

  • Placements and projects easier logistically

  • Students’ partners may also to be local

  • Work with Universities re curriculum what the industry is looking for

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What we should focus on to attract new graduates economic cluster

  • Building a positive image for the industry

  • Stress careers at forefront of technology

  • Opportunity to travel, within multinationals, anchored locally

  • CPD

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Process Industries economic cluster

Business Plan submitted to Learning & Skills Council National Office on 31/5/07.

£1m has been pledged by employers and there is still a need for more demonstrable financial support from the employer base as over 50% of this has been raised by NEPIC (£575k), to-date.

Ministerial authority was made on 7th November 2007 to operate the academy.

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The Vision economic cluster

  • The vision of the Academy is that it will lead the UK Process Industries in ‘Creating a World-Class Workforce’

  • NSAPI will lead the drive to ensure that employers within the Process Industries have sufficient skilled people to achieve their business objectives, thereby enabling them to continue to contribute significantly to regional and national economic growth. It will do this by:

    • Deploying Standards

    • Developing Training Provision

    • Directing Funding

    • Supporting Employers

  • The aim of the Academy is to reach a state where skills drive the UK Process Industries rather than constrain them.

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Upskilling to the Gold Standard economic cluster





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Challenges for industry economic cluster

  • Image - This is outdated and inaccurate and not understood by many people outside the industry. It is up to the industry to go out and sell itself

    • Process industry needs to be perceived as an exciting place to work

    • Process industry needs to be seen as solving climate change and other environmental issues

    • Process industry needs to market the benefits of its products and show that it takes product safety concerns seriously

    • Process industry needs to be attractive to women and all sections of society

  • Resources - Industry needs to commit management and employee time and expenditure to meeting the skills issue

    • Training and development as a priority

    • Nurturing new employees

    • Committing effort to publicise the issue generally and support sector as a whole as well as examining own company needs

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Challenges for industry economic cluster

  • Development and upskilling of existing workforce - this is a key resource - it is not just about new recruits

    • Setting high standards and expectations

    • Committing necessary resource to deliver development and training

  • Industry needs to have increased involvement with education providers at all levels especially in recognised programmes which are mutually beneficial

    • Primary schools

    • Secondary schools

    • Further education

  • Industry needs to take a longer term view

    • Skills shortage issue will not go away

    • Short term effort for longer term gain

    • Support NSAPI

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Challenges for education economic cluster

  • Have an up to date view of roles and opportunities available in process industry

  • Understand breadth of opportunities - not just science and engineering based but also in finance, supply chain, procurement, sales and marketing ,IT etc

  • Sponsor science and technical subjects - show how they can be used to provide benefits to society. Many examples right here on our doorstep

  • Follow integrated and recognised programmes when interacting with industry e.g. children challenging industry and don’t have too many vehicles - keep it simple

  • Show a simple roadmap to industry of how everything fits together. Understand that everyone in industry is extremely busy and working with education needs to be made as efficient as possible.

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The Crusade economic cluster

  • Process industry in North East is a success story

  • We all need to ensure this continues and the industry becomes even more successful

  • This will not happen without a highly skilled and educated workforce which is ready to face the challenges of global competition

  • Industry and education must commit significant time and resources to ensure this occurs




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To sum up – something is happening! economic cluster

Don’t forget the Primary & Secondary Schools

  • Short term

    • Accept need for some greater employer engagement in workforce development (more apprentices & graduates) and MANAGE IT

    • Provide clear leadership to supply the future, encouraging as many of our youngsters to do down this particular career path

      • Education

      • Vocational

      • AND emotional

  • Long term

    • Deliver NEPIC S&EE Action Plan

    • Work with others to achieve The Leitch Implementation Plan

    • NSAPI

  • We have no choice, it is merely a question of how well we work together and collaborate to make it happen.

  • I believe in the NE we have made a start building on a strong foundation and viewed as best practice too.

    • We have had success and we expect it to be repeated and praised.

National Skills Academy Process Industries

Talk up our achievements

Talk up our future

Talk up our importance

Talk up our people