Leading figures in skills and employment are to join FSB in a Twitter chat looking at the importance of skills training, including digital skills, in the workplace. Economist Katharine Mullock will join Anthony Impey, leading tech entrepreneur and skills champion, as well as Policy and Skills Advisor Annie Peate in the Twitter chat to mark the launch of FSB’s new report Learning the Ropes - Skills and training in small businesses. The online discussion will take place on Tuesday 12 December from 12pm to 1pm. Follow the conversation and get involved by using the hashtag #FSBChat. You can also submit your questions before by tweeting @fsb_policy. We’ll be discussing how small business owners are investing in developing skills within their businesses and the challenges they come up against. The line up so far includes: Katharine Mullock, Labour Market Economist, OECD @MullockKate Katharine’s work focuses on the role of skills in the labour market, including understanding the drivers and impact of skill mismatch and skill shortages. She is the main author of Getting Skills Right: United Kingdom and Getting Skills Right: Spain, two in-depth country reviews which assess each country’s policy response to skill imbalances. She co-authored the publication Getting Skills Right: Good Practice in Adapting to Changing Skill Needs, which draws lessons in addressing skill imbalances from a comparative analysis of the UK, Spain, France, Italy and South Africa. Prior to joining the OECD, Katharine was a senior economist in the Department of Finance in Canada, where she provided strategic policy advice to the Minister on issues related to skills mismatch, income inequality, and retirement income adequacy. Katharine holds a Masters in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Sarah Carter, Skills and Employment Manager, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership @enterprisem3 Sarah Carter is the Skills and Employment Manager for Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, a role she has held since October 2014. Sarah’s role develops and delivers our skills strategy in partnership with local and national stakeholders and focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers. She has been instrumental in delivering six new STEM skills centres across the Enterprise M3 area, all responding to the skills needs of businesses. Sarah also has responsibility for Enterprise M3’s strategic communications, which includes the LEPs high profile events and publications. She has a background that includes education, both universities and further education colleges, and private sector in various parts of the UK. As such she is well placed to link the world of business and education. Anthony Impey, CEO of Optimity and Chair of FSB Skills Policy Board @Impmister Anthony Impey is a technology entrepreneur who has built Optimity into the London’s leading provider of Wibre- a pioneering alternative to fibre optics that offers small businesses a faster and cheaper option for gigabit internet connectivity. Last year, the company was ranked as one of the top fifty most disruptive companies in the Future Fifty Awards. He is also Chair of the government’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board, Chair of the Federation of Small Business Skills Policy Board, Chair of the 50,000 Homes Advisory Board at London First and a member of the newly formed Skills Taskforce reporting to the Mayor of London. He has recently been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Heart of the City- the UK’s largest responsible small business network chaired by Sir Harvey McGrath. He is actively involved in promoting skills development and vocational education to the business community at events and in the media. He recently won the Small Business Apprenticeship Maker Award as well as receiving the Worshipful Company of IT Practitioners’ Award for Outstanding Achievement and being listed in the Maserati 100 Index. Sam McGreevy, Senior Manager SME & Charity Digital Capability, Lloyds Banking Group @Sammcgre Sam McGreevy leads Small Business and Charity Digital Capability for Lloyds Banking Group‘s Digital Inclusion agenda. Sam and his team have delivered free face-to-face training on digital skills to over 4,000 small business and charities in the last two years. Sam is also chair the small business and charity government taskforce on behalf of Lloyds Banking Group, working with 50 members alongside the department of digital culture media and sport to drive the digital skills agenda at a national level. Annie Peate, FSB Policy Advisor, Education and Skills @AnniePeate Annie leads FSB’s education and skills policy activity. FSB’s main education and skill priorities in this area include reforms to technical and vocational education, including apprenticeships and T levels, improving access to skills and training for small businesses and sole traders, and the role of small business in engaging with young people in education. Before joining FSB, Annie worked in public policy at the professional body for HR and people development, CIPD, and at the Westminster-based research organisation, The Work Foundation, as well as spending time in the policy campaigns team at The Fawcett Society. Annie has an MA in Social and Political Theory and a BA in International Relations, both from Sussex University. 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