Our next generation of Workers and Leaders, the future remains bright and full of opportunities

For those young people who have recently entered the workforce, or are poised to do so, it is an uncertain time. Coming off the back of the deepest recession in more than 300 years, getting on the job ladder looks precarious. We know from academic research that an individual’s long-term economic prospects are often intertwined with the conditions that they first encounter in the world of work. Recessions end, but the damage can be long lasting.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-09 it took six years longer for young people to have their wages recover to their preceding cohorts. Similar studies have found that those entering the job market during the recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s experienced lower future employment prospects and a diminished sense of well being. University graduates disproportionately found themselves in non-graduate jobs even many years after those recessions had ended.

One of the many economic challenges over the coming months is to ensure that the COVID19 generation do not face similar long term negative impacts.

Our Government is addressing these issues through the Kick Start Scheme, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Apprenticeships and we should expect more support to be announced in the budget on the 3rd March.

Undoubtedly as business leaders, our role is to be realistic but at the same time, optimistic that current difficulties will ultimately pass leading to a bright future for our next generation of leaders and workers.

Our third seminar in this series considers these issues and the opportunities for leaders and workers emerging into employment. We will have a range of high profile and passionate subject matter experts providing views on the latest developments and their relevance to business leaders, our region and our people.

This promises to be an informative and thought provoking virtual seminar providing essential content for business leaders and professionals.

Date: 24th March
Time: 4pm – 5pm
Venue: Virtual

Tickets are free for Business South Champions and any businesses located in Guildford, Surrey Heath or Waverley.
Non Champion Tickets and any businesses outside Guildford, Surrey Heath or Waverley: £20.00 Plus VAT (Payable by credit card at the time of the booking)


Rosemary French OBE, Business South Board Director – Event Host

Following 24 years in the multiple retail and then manufacturing private sector, Rosemary spent the next 19 years in business support and economic development as the CEO of Business Link Surrey and then the Gatwick Diamond Initiative.

Currently, she is a Non-Executive Director of Freedom Works, a co-working space company; a Non-Executive Director of Business South, an events and business support company; President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and in her spare time runs The Hus Bed and Breakfast in Surrey. She received an OBE in 2014 for services to women in business

Frances Rutter – North East Surrey College of Technology

Frances is the CEO and Principal of North East Surrey College of Technology, a general FE and HE college.

She is a qualified Solicitor with a strong background in local government. Before joining the education sector Frances was CEO of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. As an FE Principal, Frances is an active member of the Surrey Employment Skills Board, is a Board member of Coast to Capital, and chairs the Gatwick 360 skills board.

Jamie Mackay, Skills Strategy Manager – Enterprise M3 LEP

.Jamie leads on delivering the Enterprise M3 LEP’s skills and employment priorities, with a focus on creating appropriate training pathways to, and good jobs in, new and high growth sectors. Through the work of the Skills Advisory Panel, Jamie’s efforts are focused on working in partnership with employers, local authorities and education to identify and address skills gaps in the local area. Part of this is to prioritise the provision of good skills for young people who are new to the job market and also for those mid-career workers impacted by the pandemic who need to reskill.

Jamie has over two decades of experience in the skills arena, with a common thread of helping individuals to make informed career choices. He recognises the changing requirements of the labour market but also the needs and expectations from the talent pipeline.

Professor Max Lu – University of Surrey

Professor Max Lu is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, and sits on the Boards of UKRI, the National Physical Laboratory, and served as a Director of Universities UK. He is Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey.

Prior to his arrival at Surrey, Professor Lu served as Provost and Senior Vice-President of the University of Queensland. He was awarded the Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2003 and in 2008, and the Medal of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to education, international research and Sino-Australian relations.

Kate Lester – Diamond Logistics

Kate’s the multiple award winning founder Founder and CEO of diamond logistics – a network of over 30 fulfilment and delivery service centres around the UK – providing one stop logistics solution incorporating same day and express domestic and international parcels with storage and fulfilment on the diamond owned platform, despatchlab.

Kate has worked in many sectors of the transport and logistics industry for the last 28 years; from a Surrey-based 24-hour haulage operation, through to same day courier, internet fulfilment and logistical software provision and is an passionate advocate and promoter of equality, diversity and inclusion in her sector.