A highlight in the Business School’s calendar is the Birmingham Business School Advisory Board Guest Lecture, which always brings the most senior leaders in industry to tackle the hottest issues facing business.
This year’s talk asked how Britain can prosper in such a time of uncertainty post-Brexit. We were honoured, therefore, to welcome António Horta-Osório, the CEO of Lloyds (the UK’s largest retail bank), to address this question.
António stated that the UK must maximise its agility in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. “It’s not acceptable to think in terms of being a knowledge economy; we must be an entrepreneurial and productive economy.” He pointed out the need for infrastructure and investment into community projects, house building and new businesses. His message was a positive one in terms of what the UK can achieve in or out of the European Union, but issued a clear warning that we risk failure unless we address the skills shortages in the UK. He pointed out that we should not underestimate the skills gaps that highly skilled migrants have long played a critical role in filling, and that the UK must focus on bringing back apprenticeships and developing a trained, skilled and experienced workforce. He stated that the imbalance of trade is our biggest threat and that banks and the government have a role to play in galvanising start-ups in the UK and supporting business growth across the country to increase our number of exports.
The talk took place in the Business School’s brand new £10million postgraduate teaching accommodation, and was introduced by the University Chancellor Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership. It was attended by our Advisory Board members, business partners and other senior leaders, including Christine Hodgson, Chairman of Capgemini, in addition to our faculty, and students.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, University Chancellor and Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership, meeting students in the Atrium of the Business School’s brand new teaching facility after the event.
Birmingham Business School Dean and Deputy Dean, Professor Glyn Watson and Professor Isabelle Szmigin, meeting António Horta-Osório