The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has announced £75,000 in funding for each LEP are in England to support Skills Advisory Panels – local partnerships between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities – to assess what skills are needed in their local area.
Marking the one year anniversary of the Government’s Industrial Strategy which aims to boosts the nation’s productivity and put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution, Mr Hinds set out his plans to get more people into skilled jobs that command higher wages, including a new generation of Higher Technical Qualifications – an alternative to a university degree to help more people get on in their careers and so employers can access the skills they need. and reforming the pupil destination measure – the information published in school and college performance tables about what higher study or training pupils go on to do after they leave – to create one measure that shows how many young people are doing higher training of any type.
In Norfolk and Suffolk, the role of the Skills Advisory Panel will be taken on by the existing New Anglia Skills Board, chaired by Paul Winter. Responding to the announcement, a LEP Network statement said:
“The LEP Network welcomes the Education Secretary’s announcement on the role of Skills Advisory Panels which LEP Chairs discussed with him at their recent meeting in October.
“The panels will be vital in strengthening the ability of LEPs and Mayoral Combined Authorities to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs. It will enable them to work with businesses and education providers to address local skills gaps and employment priorities. The potential of Skills Advisory Panels to influence this agenda at a local level will be the foundation of their success.
The Secretary of State’s confirmation that where existing Employment and Skills Boards already function well, they will take on the Skills Advisory Panel function, is especially welcome, as is the analytical toolkit and additional funding from the Department for Education.
The package announced by the Secretary of State today will not only help Skills Advisory Panels have impact, but it will also put them at the heart of the ambitious Local Industrial Strategies that are being developed by LEPs, MCAs and GLA.”