Sheffield (UK)

Webinar: Engineering Skills and Retraining for the Post-Pandemic Era

Webinar: Engineering Skills and Retraining for the Post-Pandemic Era
  • Date From 25th November 2021
  • Date To 25th November 2021
  • Price Free of charge, open to all.
  • Location Online: 18:00 GMT. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.


This event will look at the growing problem of the engineering skills gap. The pandemic has resulted in significant disruption to the labour market, highlighting immediate skills gaps in growing businesses. These gaps cannot be filled by long term interventions in the education sector which leads us to question how different stakeholder groups might respond to satisfy the current demand for new skills. For example:

  • How can employers practically continue to upskill existing employees?
  • How can people newly entering the labour market identify and market their transferrable skills?
  • What steps are education providers taking to address the perceived shortfalls?
  • How should regional policies and initiatives help support the provision of re-training?

The event is organised jointly by Professional Engineering Institutions in South Yorkshire: IMechE, IET, IChemE, ICE, IStructE and SMEA. View the event flyer >>


Kevin Parkin, Executive Chairman, Castings Technology International

Kevin has qualifications in engineering, accounting and marketing. In January 2021, Kevin and Richard Cook undertook a Management Buy Out (MBO) of Castings Technology International Ltd with Kevin taking the position of Executive Chairman.

Kevin has extensive experience operating as MD or Chairman and has headed several successful turnarounds of seriously troubled manufacturing companies. He has led all types of transactions including refinancing, restructuring and disposals and is extremely well networked in both manufacturing, banking, and private equity. In 2015, he led an equity backed Management Buy In of Precision Technologies and in 2008, he led an MBO of DavyMarkham which was backed by Endless LLP.

Kevin was a founder of the Work-Wise Foundation, is a Freeman of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, an Entrepreneur in Residence with Yorkshire Connect, and a member of the steering group for the Advanced Metallic Systems at the University of Sheffield. He has also been involved with the EEF (MakeUK), Santander Bank’s Ambassadors and by being the Manufacturer Magazine one of the Top 100 Manufacturing People in the UK. During the last 12 years many prestigious National awards have been made to either him personally or to organisations with which he has been associated.

Thomas Harrison, Managing Director, Kingkraft

Thomas began his career as a chartered surveyor working in commercial property, after a successful career in Manchester he then moved to Sheffield and retrained in product design and engineering moving through different roles within Kingkraft. He became Managing Director in 2015 and completed a MBO in 2017.

Thomas then went on to study for his MBA in advanced manufacturing management at the University of Sheffield. He is heavily involved in the running of Kingkraft as well as the R&D and Product Design. Thomas also has a small design and consultancy agency called Thalar Ltd which provides advisory and design services, mainly to manufacturing businesses.

Further to the above Thomas is also Chairman of the Health Sector LEP Board for the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (ex-Sheffield City Region) and a mentor for Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA).

Natalie-Claire Luwisha, Life Coach and Qualified Civil and Structural Engineer

Natalie-Claire is a qualified engineer and self-made entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in structural engineering. She has a natural talent for seeing the bigger picture when approaching new projects, allowing her to break tasks down into manageable and effective action steps. Her entrepreneurial experience has further enhanced this skill, specifically in relation to starting and growing a business.

Analytically minded, with a passion for people and sustainable design, she has combined her love for personal development with her passion for empowering women through coaching. As a coach and speaker, Natalie-Claire has spent the last 10 years supporting, promoting and encouraging women in all STEM sectors. As a postgraduate, she has worked with the University of Salford on the enterprising Insight programme, focused on introducing the academic and professional aspects of engineering to young women embarking on their journey into higher education. Natalie-Claire is also an active STEM Ambassador within the South Yorkshire region.

Anne Wilson MBE, Skills Advisor, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (formerly Sheffield City Region)

Anne has a background in international banking and finance in her very early career followed on with over 30 years experience in engineering and manufacturing. Whilst leading an SME company she built an export contribution from 18% to 24% and then 56% of the business. She received an MBE in 2016 for services to engineering.

Since 2018 in a consultancy role, Anne has been working with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (ex-Sheffield City Region) as a Skills Advisor offering independent advice and support to businesses. Using her network she has connected people to her contacts to explore beneficial options for them.

Anne is both an Entrepreneur and Executive in Residence at Sheffield Hallam University where she has worked since January 2021, offering business support to those looking to recruit graduates into their SME businesses. Helping businesses is what Anne likes best of all. Being able to support others and share knowledge is where she likes to be.


18:00–19:30 GMT.


This webinar will take place on Zoom.

If you are an IMechE member, please book your place to attend via this link here. In addition to the automated event ticket, you will receive a separate email from the Admin Officer confirming the Zoom link and joining instructions. 

For non-IMechE members, or those without IMechE accounts, you can book your place by contacting the Admin Officer (Nicky Baxter) via the "Register to attend" link at the bottom of this page.

IChemE will not be storing or controlling any data linked to this event.

Register to attend

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