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CBI 'bridging the gap' to education

Date 14 Dec 2007

The Confederation of British Industry this week announced its dedication to bringing together business and education. CBI Director General, Richard Lambert, visited the North East this week and reinforced the organisation's commitment to work closely with the higher education sector.

Speaking at the CBI North East Christmas Debate in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Mr Lambert said: "Quite a few business people I meet have only a vague notion of the role of a modern university, and don't understand the glorious diversity in mission and output that is increasingly available. "And quite a few academics still have a pretty fuzzy view about business, and what it can and cannot be expected to do in partnership with their institutions. The more CBI can help to bring the two sides together, the better."

Mr Lambert chaired a panel of business people and academics which explored how the North East can best build on the strengths of its university, college and business sectors to meet the region's skills needs.

Panellists included Trevor Mann from Nissan, John Cuthbert from Northumbrian Water, Professor Chris Higgins, Vice Chancellor, Durham University; and David Waddington, Principal and Chief Executive, Hartlepool College. The student voice was represented by Ben Potter, Education Officer at Newcastle University Student Union.

Sarah Green, CBI Regional Director said: "The region has a wealth of strength in our higher and further education sectors, and business also has a huge amount of expertise in delivering training to their staff. For the North East to continue to grow we have a shared interest in making sure we work together to deliver the region's future skills needs."

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