An Employer View on Skills for Competence & Compliance - Hosted by Cogent Skills

Guest panellist:

Graham SmithSite Director - LANXESS Widnes

Time & Location

Wednesday: 13.00 to 14.00, Stage 3

Panel Session Overview

Your current workforce is your future workforce: how ready are your existing employees for the skills challenges you’ll face in the next 5-10 years?

In this session we will share the findings from our UK Chemical Industry Skills Survey and explore the potential impact of changes in materials and process technology, increased digitalisation, and the drive towards energy efficiency and improved environmental performance on the requirements for skills, knowledge and behaviours of science industry workforce.
Featured Panellists include:

  • Neil Smith – Head of Workforce Development, Cogent Skills (Host)
  • Stephen Elliott – Chief Executive, Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
  • Justine Fosh – Chief Executive Officer at Cogent Skills
  • Graham Smith – Site Director at Emerald Kalama (LANXESS)

*check for further updates to panellist line up

Panellist bio:

Emerald Kalama Chemical Ltd were acquired by LANXESS during H1 2021, the deal being completed on 3rd August.

Graham joined the site in October 2017 after 5 years with William Blythe (part of Synthomer) who manufacture inorganic metal salts.

During his tenure, the site won the CIA Skills Award for a bespoke workforce development programme in 2013.

Prior to that Graham worked in agrochemical intermediate manufacture for 26 years for Bayer CropScience.

Graham started his career in process development then spent many years in plant and operations management before a 3-year spell in their German HQ with responsibility for process relocations.

Since joining the site, Graham has championed numerous improvement projects and has a particular passion for employee development, which saw the site win the CIA Skills Award for 2021 for the inception of the Emerald Academy.

This project has transformed the way that workforce development is carried out on site bringing both structure and a focus on competency, the latter being the driver for the establishment of a site Competency Management System over the last 18 months to ensure consistent standards across all departments.

Graham has a Master’s in Business Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.