Canolfan yr Egin, Carmarthen.

The cream of skills and industry will lead a business summit focused on ways to prevent talented youngsters leaving Wales to pursue career opportunities over the border.

Hosted by Antur Cymru Enterprise, up to 80 decision makers and learners are expected to attend the event, which takes place on Thursday October 20 at Canolfan yr Egin, Carmarthen.

The programme will be chaired by Mid and West Wales MS Cefin Campbell, and topics to be discussed include youth entrepreneurship, the Young Persons Guarantee, the national recruitment crisis and ‘old perceptions vs new realities’, helping young people navigate their working lives.

Among the speakers are Careers Wales Chief Executive Nikki Lawrence; Emma Benger, Senior Programme Delivery Manager for Employability and Skills at the Welsh Government; Llinos Price from Big Ideas Wales, CDI (Careers Development Institute) President and Chair, Carolyn Parry, and Scott James, founder of Coaltown Coffee Roasters in Ammanford.

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Bronwen Raine, Managing Director of Antur Cymru, will also deliver a presentation as the Newcastle Emlyn-based organisation marks 45 years of support and service to entrepreneurship and training of individuals and organisations in rural areas across the country.

“We are delighted to have such incredible speakers join us for what is a very important conference at a time when Wales – like the rest of the UK – is facing unprecedented challenges in multiple sectors,” she said.

“There are opportunities out there for young people so it’s important we shine a light on them and work closely with schools, colleges, and universities to collaborate and showcase the benefits of helping boost the economy right here on their doorstep.

“As well as presentations by leading names we will have breakout sessions, a panel discussion and there will be an opportunity for attendees to share their experiences and thoughts on how together we can address these issues and make a difference for generations to come.”

Professor Emeritus Andy Penaluna from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is also to deliver a talk on Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, and International Perspectives.

Currently working for the Welsh National Academy for Educational Leadership to develop innovative educational leaders, he is assisting UNESCO to respond to the need for entrepreneurial Rectors and Vice Chancellors in the Caribbean and South America, having received a Lifetime Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion and been named on the Maserati 100 Entrepreneurs list.

“The summit is extremely timely as post-pandemic we have less confident learners who may struggle to reach their potential, both in entrepreneurial opportunities and in employment, especially within small firms,” said Professor Penaluna.

“In my talk I’ll be sharing perspectives from my time with the United Nations and European Commission, where I’ll be highlighting what competencies have been identified and where Wales stands in developing initiatives to help young people learn them.”

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