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CBI unveils annual conference line-up

This year’s conference theme is & lsquo;Growth for All’, which will look at how all political parties can help enable businesses to deliver growth for everyone, giving greater opportunity to those people and groups being left behind despite the recovery.

The conference will take place on Monday 10 November at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, supported by strategic partner, EY, the professional service providers, and recruiting experts, Hays.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

“With the UK’s economic fortunes revitalised we must ensure that we deliver growth for all.

“There are still too many people not enjoying the fruits of the recovery, from our young people to the low-paid and low-skilled.

“Politicians must deliver policies that unleash business to create the jobs of the future, open new markets and fulfil new ambitions for our entrepreneurs and the workforce up and down the whole of the UK.

“This year’s CBI annual conference will put these issues firmly on the agenda with a top-class line-up of business leaders, politicians and other leading public figures.”

Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays, added:

“As a strategic partner of the CBI Annual Conference, we are pleased to be part of an event that will ignite debate on how to deliver a better, more competitive UK economy – with everyone sharing the benefits. Now that the economy is back to pre-recession levels, we have to ensure we have the foundations for sustainable and sustained economic growth.

“At Hays we place hundreds of thousands of people into work every year, so we know from experience that finding the right job can transform a person’s life. It also makes businesses, economies and societies stronger. It is vital therefore that companies have access to talented individuals today as well as in the long term in order to realise their ambitions and create the platform for growth for all. We look forward to working with the CBI to help make this happen.”

Steve Varley, EY's Chairman and Managing Partner, UK & Ireland said:
“As the debate moves away from solidifying economic recovery to ensuring long-term growth, our focus should now shift to its very components – people.
“Ways to ensure a sustainable recovery for the people by the people will be at the heart of the public debate this year.

“The CBI conference will make an important contribution to this debate and I am looking forward to joining a top line up of speakers.”

CBI President Sir Michael Rakewill set the scene for the day with a topical speech highlighting the major business issues of the moment including global trade, securing international investment and business reputation. This will be followed by a line-up of senior political figures from the three main parties. Further details will be announced closer to the time.

Our Great Business Debate Fair for All not Free for All will dominate the morning as we examine what business, government and society more broadly can do to help create opportunities, boost incomes and ensure that the benefits of growth are shared more widely. With the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Damon Buffini, founder of the Social Business Trust, Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, Chief Executive Mitie Group and Dr Andy Wood OBE, Chief Executive of Adnams, it promises to be a lively session.

After lunch, we will be hearing from Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton, the home of independent film making about how the UK film industry has become a global force. And he has a few surprises up his sleeve.

ITV Business Editor, Joel Hills, will be next up hosting a quick fire New markets, New ambitions session with Steve Varley, EY Managing Partner UK & Ireland setting the scene for interviews with some of today’s most exciting entrepreneurs from Hotel Chocolat and the Cambridge Satchel Company to Fever-Tree and Miller International.

As delegates consider how to follow in their exporting footsteps, James Ashton, Executive Editor of the London Evening Standard and Independent titles will be in conversation with Lord Livingston of Parkhead, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, John Cridland, CBI Director-General and Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays, exploring what support businesses of all sizes and sectors need to help them take those all-important first steps into new export markets.

As the Conference draws to a close a celebration of The Tastes and Sounds of Great Britain will end the day on a high.

Full details of the programme and the speakers can be found on the CBI’s website at


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