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Professional Services Leaders Lunch instrumental in addressing the future of learning and recruitment in Liverpool

Downtown in Business recently hosted the latest in their 'Leaders Lunch' series, the ‘Professional Services Leaders Lunch’, in collaboration with The City of Liverpool College. The event aimed to address the future of learning and recruitment in Liverpool.

On Tuesday, May 14th, Downtown in Business hosted their ‘Professional Services Leaders Lunch’, in collaboration with The City of Liverpool College, which brought together industry leaders in the Professional Services as well as educators for a lunchtime full of insightful dialogue on the future of professional services and higher education in Liverpool.

Held at the always wonderful Fazenda in Liverpool, attendees were treated to a welcoming atmosphere and a sumptuous meal, courtesy of our fantastic hosts, setting the stage for a dynamic lunchtime of networking and discussion.

Downtown CEO Frank Mckenna introduced the event where representatives from Liverpool City College as well as from the Professional services were ready to delve into the future of the professional services and education landscape.

Throughout the lunch, a myriad of topics were explored, reflecting on the evolving nature of professional services and the challenges and opportunities lying ahead.

One highlight of the event was the discussion around progress made in the provision of apprenticeships and other alternative pathways to traditional education.

Frank Mckenna highlighted the transformative impact of recent apprenticeship projects and schemes designed to prepare young people for the workforce and the work that the Liverpool City College is doing to promote non-traditional paths and streamline recruitment of young people into the professional services.

Discussions centered on the need for a cohesive approach to education and recruitment within the sector, acknowledging the changing demands of the modern economy.

Insights from Peter Sandman Commerical Director of Liverpool City College underscored Liverpool’s growing stature as a key player in overhauling the education system and promoting new pathways for learners better suited to today’s economy and job market as well as, stressing the city’s significance in the Professional services industries.

However, despite the positive progress, he explained how the college isn’t generating enough interest for the apprenticeship programme, due to the lack of apprenticeships available throughout businesses in the region.
He would like to see greater contributions towards salaries, apprenticeships funding and the recruitment process from businesses and leaders.

He believes there is a big need for apprenticeships in areas such as Business administration, financial and accounting roles and that through partnership with employers, the College can focus on producing young professionals with skills sets tailored to the work force in their area of interest, stressing “Apart from employment, we’ll do the rest!”

He emphasised the importance of challenging outdated perceptions and aligning the city’s educational offerings with real opportunities and careers for learners, making the business economy more effective, competitive and progressive.

Matt Noon of Law Firm Hill Dickenson, echoed these sentiments of collaboration, stressing the need for cohesive communication and combined efforts between educational establishments and employers to amplify Liverpool’s appeal to students and employers alike and advocating for increased support for development of apprenticeship schemes that produce graduates who meet employers needs.

He said: “The Downfall for employers is that they don’t engage with the local talent pool. We look at this and think why didn’t we do this earlier?!”

Attendees of the event from Glenville Walker and House of Wisdom also added significantly to the conversation, expressing their interest in working with the college. 

Overall, the Professional Services Leaders Lunch proved to be a motivating and enlightening event, offering attendees valuable insights into the future of both professional services and education in Liverpool. The event’s success was a testament to the power of collaboration and dialogue in shaping the city’s employment trajectory.

Downtown looks forward to hosting more thought-provoking events in the future, providing opportunities for continued dialogue and collaboration within the professional services sector.

For more information about future events, please contact Beth McKenna at

Downtown in Business

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