CSA Catapult welcomes the Catapult Network to South Wales to champion future skills

Date: 28.03.2023

Topics: Skills

Catapult Network Skills Event

Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult host the Catapult Network and partners at the ‘Shaping Future Skills Conference’ on Tuesday 7th March at the ICC Wales.

A year on from signing the ‘Inclusivity in Innovation ’ Charter, the conference explored the links between skills and equality, diversity, and inclusion, and discussed how skills are essential to maintaining a thriving and impactful research and development landscape.

During the event, there were discussions about the accessibility of skills and how combining innovation with engineering needs to be a priority when attracting the diverse talent pool in the UK and abroad.

Speaking at the event, Katherine Bennett CBE – the new Chair of the Catapult Network and CEO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult — highlighted how fitting it was that the event was being held in South Wales:

“To truly foster inclusivity in innovation, we must prioritise accessibility and availability of skills locally. Newport, the location of our event, is a great example of this in action across the compound semiconductors industry,” she said.

“And there are many more examples out there which have Catapults at their core playing a crucial role in using their unique networks to help predict the future skills requirements in different sectors and build services to help meet those requirements.”

CSA Catapult’s CEO Martin McHugh said: “Engineering offers professionals lifelong learning opportunities, to be able to excel on exciting new projects and surprise yourself with how much you can achieve. And in my experience, passing on knowledge to the next generation of engineers has always been rewarding.”

Over the last five years, CSA Catapult has built communities starting in South Wales that have reached out across the UK, in turn growing company capabilities and individuals’ skills.

CSA Catapult advocates that, the best ideas come from a broad range of minds and diversity drives innovation, and is committed to improving diversity across the engineering industry.

The Catapult’s skills initiatives; a new Skills Academy and scholarship programme with the UK Electronic Skills Foundation, regular outreach activities with schools, colleges, universities, and local festivals, and a collaboration with Innovate UK and the Catapult Network on the Workforce Foresighting Hub, take every opportunity to increase the visibility of engineering skills to a diverse range of students and prospective employees.

Alex Leadley, Skills Academy Manager at CSA Catapult, and compere of the event said: “It was great to see and celebrate the different skills initiatives across the Catapults, which are putting STEM skills and careers front and centre, in their local areas and across the innovation ecosystem.

“We want to show young people the career and learning opportunities available to them, in South Wales and across the UK. Anything that we, and the wider Catapult Network, can do to inspire the future workforce is a privilege.

“We are looking forward to aligning more closely with the Catapult Network in a collective effort to drive and champion skills, both locally and regionally, to make them accessible to everyone and to strengthen innovation ecosystem.”