Delegates who attended the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Annual Conference yesterday (7th November) had the opportunity to interact with future technologies and innovations in the world of work.

For the first time the highlight of the conference, which took place at the Epic Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground, was the Demonstration Arena featuring robot dogs, electric cars, drones, the UK’s fastest 3D printer and more. 

At the busiest LEP conference to date, delegates came together to discuss the workforce of the future and got to experience at first hand the technologies being developed across a range of sectors. 

Over on the stage delegates heard an update on the LEP’s highlights and progress over the last 12 months from Chair Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, and Chief Executive Ruth Carver, as well as some impact success stories from local businesses. 

This year’s keynote speech was delivered by Dr Paul Redmond, an employment guru at the University of Liverpool and an expert in the future of work. His talk touched on the multi-generational workforce, the effect of the Attention Economy, and the impact of technology. 

Later two expert panels took to the stage to answer questions from the audience. The first panel focused on the future of the workplace and workforce and discussed both the opportunities and challenges that come with having a multi-generational workforce. 

The second panel discussed how technology is changing the workplace in Greater Lincolnshire and covered topics such as AI, hybrid working and predicted what businesses may look like in 2035. 

Professor Juster said: “This has been a great conference, and we’ve had more people attend than we ever have before! 

“The LEP has been in existence for 11 years and during that time we have really accelerated the economic growth of the county, so an event like today brings together the businesses, SMEs and politicians to network and find out how the LEP can support them.” 

Keynote speaker Dr Paul Redmond said: “I’ve had a great day here today talking to colleagues and finding out about the brilliant businesses in Greater Lincolnshire. What I’ve really discovered today is that the whole county is really thinking about how it can position itself into 2035.” 

Nikki Cooke, CEO of LIVES and Chair of the LEP Health and Care Board, said: “Whenever I come to any of these LEP events I am always astounded by the amazingly good work that is being done by all kinds of businesses in all kinds of industries across the county.” 

Several students also attended the conference and were able to find out more about the skills they may need to develop in the future and the employment opportunities that exist in the region. 

Ben Wilson, Head of Design Technology at Baysgarth School in Barton-on-Humber, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speech as it resonates a lot with what we do in our school with the year nine curriculum. 

“We look at delivering employability skills rather than a knowledge-based curriculum. We focus on preparing our students for the workforce of the future.” 

Joseph Wilson, Grantham College student, said: “We’ve learned a lot about the engineering world at the conference, about things such as 3D printing, electric vehicles, and drones. 

“Engineering as a whole is an interesting subject so just getting to hear about it and find out about the opportunities available is great.”