Talent: Inspiring the next generation of talent from A to Z

Panel Discussion: How can you ensure that Generation Alpha and Gen Z understand the opportunities and careers available within Manufacturing.

Relive the Talent Breakout session from 2023 using the following link – https://youtu.be/LuX_hUKU9iE

Welcome Sponsor: Simon Farnfield is the Event Director of the UK’s leading annual manufacturing and engineering trade shows namely Advanced Engineering, held at the NEC (30 – 31 October 2024), and Southern Manufacturing and Electronics, now in its 26th edition, held in Farnborough (6-9 February 2024). Simon is a media and events expert, with over 25 years’ experience working for major international media and events brands. In his career, Simon has developed a strong knowledge and passion for helping industries grow and attract new and diverse talent pools as well as creating leading events for communities to develop. During his career, he has managed The Times Top 50 Employers for Women; The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For; The Sun Employment Roadshow and launched a trade show for working in the events industry called Event Careers Live.

Tony Ryan worked in education for 33 years, spending 18 in senior management and 11 as headteacher in two very diverse secondary Academies. Tony has worked with a range of organisations both as a trust member and at board level. Towards the end of his final headship, he led a secondary free school bid from inception through approval to planning for an £18 Million new build secondary school, which opened its doors to students in 2018.

Tony entered teaching almost by accident, rediscovering a love of learning as a motor vehicle engineer. He completed his initial teacher training in London with the ILEA, qualifying as a teacher of design and technology. He later completed an MA in Educational Studies, majoring in the use of information technology which he went on to teach and lead across several schools.

Tony is the Chief Executive Officer of The Design and Technology Association; he is an active Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts, a Member of the IET and is a member of several steering groups for educational bodies nationally. 

In his spare time, he is an avid fan of Brentford FC, is a keen beekeeper, plays the saxophone badly and has taken up boxing at the ripe age of 59.  

Joshua McLaughlin, FRSA, Social Media Manager, The TalentPeople, GetMyFirstJob

As resident Social Media Manager at TheTalentPeople / GetMyFirstJob, Josh strategises and produces all the social enterprise’s social media content. This has gained a following of over 28K on TikTok and 52K in total, reaching over 7M people across all social platforms in 2023.

A first-generation scholar with a first-class degree in Media and Communications, Josh is passionate about connecting with and showing young and disenfranchised people their career options – from apprenticeships to grad jobs – inspiring them into the world of work and toward a career that is right for them. He also helps educate employers and training providers on the current trends and best practices of harnessing social media in attracting and engaging youth audiences, showing how it can be a positive tool for social mobility and inclusion.

Josh has recently joined Movement to Work as a panelist at the 2023 ‘CEO Summit,’ attended a meeting with the MP for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression discussing social media and candidate engagement, and produced employer brand and attraction content with organisations like BMW Group, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Microsoft, Channel 4, and the Department for Education. He has also been nominated as a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Fayon Dixon is a seasoned broadcaster, events host, and facilitator with a steadfast dedication to inspiring and motivating others for close to two decades. Her passion for fostering positive change extends to her advocacy for equality and diversity in engineering careers. As an ambassador for STEM projects, Fayon collaborates with children, students, and professional engineers to promote inclusivity and representation in the field. Currently serving as an Engagement Manager at EqualEngineers, Fayon utilises her diverse skill set to drive transformative initiatives aimed at shaping the future of engineering for generations to come.

Suleymaan Khan, The Big Bang Competition 2023 ‘Network Rail Innovation in Transport Award’ winner and Year 11 student at WMG Academy for Young Engineers – more details to follow