Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Inquiry Panel - Future of Work in Southampton - Thursday, 20th December, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Mark Pirnie 

No. Item


Apologies and Changes in Panel Membership (If Any)

To note any changes in membership of the Panel made in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4.3.


The apologies of Councillor Guthrie were noted. 



Minutes of the Previous Meeting (including Matters Arising) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2018 and to deal with any matters arising.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October, 2018 be approved and signed as a correct record.



The Future of Work in Southampton - Ensuring that the Southampton workforce has the required skills to stay ahead of the robots pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Report of the Director, Legal and Governance, requesting that the Panel consider the comments made by the invited guests and use the information provided as evidence in the review.

Additional documents:


The Panel received the report of the Director, Legal and Governance, requesting that the Panel consider the steps that are being undertaken to secure the right skills to drive the data driven economy in Southampton and how the Southampton workforce can acquire the required skills to stay ahead of the robots.


Following discussions with invited representatives the following information was received:


Professor Dame Wendy Hall - Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute and Skills Champion for AI in the UK


Securing the right skills to drive the data driven economy in Southampton


·  The UK is strong in AI and has a remarkable legacy.  The Government’s AI sector deal is ambitious and world leading.

·  The University of Southampton is strong in AI and technology and is a member of the Turing Institute.

·  UK and Southampton need more people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills, especially females, as the new jobs created will require skills in science and technology.  The more skills and the higher the skills the better.

·  The city needs a pipeline of people studying for science and technology degrees and a pipeline to PhD’s.  There also needs to be opportunities for people to retrain and move into this field of work.

·  The University of Southampton hosts a Web Sciences Centre for Doctoral Training funded by the UK Research Council. A bid by the University to become an Artificial Intelligence Centre for Doctoral Training is being evaluated.  These initiatives are in addition to the various PHD’s and research opportunities, in relevant disciplines to grow the tech industry, supported by the University.

·  On-line learning can be an integral element of the skills jigsaw, helping to increase diversity of learners.  The Southampton Data Science Academy, part of the Web Science Institute, was established to bridge the data skills gap and delivers a number of accredited on-line modular courses in data science.  More can be done in Southampton to provide effective on line education to develop tech skills.

·  Every country and university wants the top AI researchers.  Keeping people in the UK is difficult because in the USA investment funding is easier to access and salaries can be significantly higher.

·  To attract top talent the city needs to be open to people from across the globe coming to learn in Southampton and being supported to stay and grow here.  We also need to recognise that there are opportunities to become a talent magnet and a developer of talent and accept that some talent will leak out of the system, possibly to return later.  We need to create an environment that supports this.

·  The Government is providing funding to create a National Centre for Computing Education to train teachers -


Cllr Darren Paffey – Cabinet Member for Aspiration, Skills and Lifelong Learning

Geoff Glover – Associate Lecturer, Southampton Solent University, Chair of the emerging Southampton Education Quarter Forum

Sarah Stannard – Principal and Chief Executive, City College Southampton and Chair  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.