Executive Chairman joins new UK Skills Taskforce

Recycling Lives Executive Chairman Andrew Hodgson OBE has joined a new Skills Taskforce for Global Britain that will create a post-pandemic plan to deploy world-class skills and attract inward investment.

The taskforce which launches today at a virtual International Skills Summit, is at the centre of the Government’s commitment to use a skills-based economy to drive growth, productivity and ‘levelling up’ in Britain.

Andrew commented: “I am excited to be part of this initiative to drive a post-pandemic recovery. The objectives of the Skills Taskforce align with our own aims to grow the business while continuing to create social value alongside positive environmental impact and commercial success within the circular economy of recycling and waste management.”

Andrew is former chair of North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) where had made skills development a leading priority. His experience extends to high level positions within manufacturing and technology and he became head of Recycling Lives board last year. Throughout all these roles he has been a passionate advocate for creating opportunities for all. 

Gerry Marshall, CEO of Recycling Lives, further commented: "This appointment is excellent news for Recycling Lives, Andrew and the UK Skills Taskforce. We're passionate about skilling up our own workforce, so being part of the team that develops new competitive advantages UK wide is a win win."

Recycling Lives is a unique success story and is recognised as a UK leader for developing commercial operations that support and sustain charity programmes for offender rehabilitation, residential support and food redistribution. Already a leading player in the circular economy, the Preston-based company now operates UK wide and has an ambitious expansion programme.

The Skills Taskforce commissioned by WorldSkills UK is chaired by former Director General of the CBI John Cridland CBE. He said: “With global competition for inward investment getting fiercer every year, the UK must be able to add world-class skills to its international calling card.”

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann, OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK is overseeing the taskforce. He believes that the time is right to put the development of world-class skills for key internationally-traded sectors - such as advanced manufacturing, engineering, digital, creative and life sciences - at the centre of the drive to boost recovery and growth. 

He said: “For UK industry to attract the inward investment we need to grow, be internationally competitive and create high quality jobs - we have to develop world class skills. Failure to do so means we will not only fall behind our global competitors, but also let down the next generation.”

The Taskforce will build on the work of WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence – partnered and funded by educational charity and awarding body NCFE – which is mainstreaming world-class skills as mastered by the best of the best from around the world by developing a cadre of world-class technical educators in colleges across the UK. The three -year pilot project, which rolled-out last year, will impact more than 120 educational institutions, 1,000 educators and 40,000 young people.

The launch took place today (Wednesday, May 19th) during a virtual International Skills Summit, hosted at Dudley College of Technology in the West Midlands.