Events roundup: February 2020 | IPT

Due to a short recess, we had a reduced number of events in February. We’re always happy to prove that we normally provide both quality and quantity though. We covered some of the most discussed and current issues for Parliament and UK business.

This included an event on looking at the future of UK trade. This is especially important considering our impending departure of the European Union trading bloc. It is of course only possible to speculate on where we will end up, but businesses were able to speak about how they imagine they will fare depending on the outcome of negotiations.

In the penultimate event for February we were considering the role of carbon capture and storage in the effort to decarbonise the UK economy. Following the event, where much of the discussion centered around the UK being a global leader in the carbon capture and the absolute necessity to create the right business models to ensure that businesses are onboard, we caught up with one of the guest speakers, Professor Jon Gibbins, for our podcast:

Are Apprenticeship Appealing?

On Monday 03 February, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a Dinner Discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘The Changing Face of Apprenticeship Delivery.’ The discussion was chaired by Ian Mearns MP, Chair of the Select Committee on Backbench Business and welcomed guest speakers Lydia Hatley, Head of Engagement, Leadership Development, Internal Communications & Events, TUI and Dr Debbie Simpson, Director of Post-Experience Programmes, Lancaster University. The discussion focused on reviewing the effectiveness of the apprenticeship levy and recent reforms in reaching target apprentice numbers, including the impact on SME and large corporation recruitment.

Main points raised:

  • Apprentices add value to organisations and the effectiveness of the scheme to build personal and professional confidence and develop their skills.
  • The apprenticeship levy can be used different ways including investment in skills training and implementing workplace mentors.
  • Questioned the Government’s priorities regarding apprenticeships; whether they should prioritise added learning, pathway to industry or both.

Trading Places

On Tuesday 04 February 2020, we hosted a dinner discussion ‘Future Trade: Building 21st Century Gateways’ chaired by The Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, House of Lords. He was joined by Doug Bannister, Chief Executive, Port of Dover and Tim Hawkins, Chief Strategy Officer, Manchester Airports Group. The discussion focussed on how gateways can secure prosperous regional and international trade as the United Kingdom undergoes changes in trading arrangements post-Brexit.

Main points raised:

  • Clarity and certainty are of upmost importance on the future trading relationship with the EU post-Brexit to ensure supply chains can adequately prepare and adapt.
  • The need to address just-in-time supply chain for UK manufacturing and the potential implications of Brexit. This was considered in the context of the increasing cultural shift amongst consumers towards expecting the next-day delivery of products.
  • Improvements to domestic connectivity, especially in Northern England, with sustainability and reducing carbon emissions must be balanced.

Securing the finance sector amid Brexit

On Monday 24 February 2020, we hosted the Dinner Discussion ‘Securing the UK’s Financial Services Sector Post-Brexit’. The discussion was chaired by Harriett Baldwin MP, House of Commons and welcomed guest speakers Nick Collier, Managing Director, City of London Corporation’s Brussels Office, and Rebecca Park, Managing Director of Corporate Affairs, UK Finance. The discussion focused on what can be done to retain the UK’s position as a leading financial services centre as the UK exits the European Union.

Main points raised:

  • Economic crime poses a real threat to the UK’s security and prosperity and the impacts of fraud across society, the private sector and government. As well as the importance of ensuring that post-Brexit UK trade deals and regulations facilitate the UK in continuing to lead in tackling economic crime globally.
  • Highlighting the importance of stringent and pragmatic UK data strategy which will transform data and analytics capabilities while addressing and reforming current issues with data collection in the financial sector.
  • The role of our legislative and regulatory frameworks in providing continuity from any disruption when leaving the EU.

It’s cool to capture carbon

On Tuesday 25 February, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a Breakfast Meeting between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled Clean Growth: The Role of Carbon Capture and Storage.’ The discussion was chaired by Alan Brown MP, SNP Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change and welcomed guest speakers Colin McGill, Low Carbon Appraisal General Manager, BP and Professor Jon Gibbins, Centre Director at UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre, University of Sheffield. The discussion focused on the necessity to implement Carbon Capture and Storage in order to achieve the net zero greenhouse gas emission target by 2050.

Main points raised:

  • Clear and successful business model, with an emphasis on commercially viability are essential for appealing to shareholders.
  • The Government have a massive role in ensuring projects are delivered successfully and in time to meet net zero by 2050.
  • The UK is currently considered a global leader and can lead by example and encourage other countries to implement the same CCUS framework.

Spreading your wings? Delivering sustainable airport expansion     

On Tuesday 25 February 2020, we hosted a dinner discussion titled ‘Delivering Sustainable Airport Expansion’ chaired by Chris Matheson MP. The speakers were Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive, Airlines UK and Karen Dee, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association. The central theme explored at the dinner was how the UK aviation industry can deliver on both the growing demand for flights and its promise to reduce the sector’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, focusing on cleaner engines, new fuels and the effectiveness of the carbon offsetting programs.

Main points raised:

  • The impact of airport expansion on local communities and the potential that local investment and improved transport links could provide in improving the dialogue between communities and the aviation sector.
  • Progress is being made in developing sustainable aircrafts, including the use of hybrids, electrification and biofuels, and the timescale and barriers to use on passenger flights.
  • We need to continually evaluate the positives and negatives of expanding UK airports and how it aligns with public demand for a cleaner, greener future.