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Launch of Skills Advisory Panels welcomed

Plans for a nationwide network of Skills Advisory Panels designed to ensure the needs of businesses are met have been welcomed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Purpose of Skills Advisory Panels

The Department for Education has issued guidance on the role of Skills Advisory Panels, setting out their purpose, composition and responsibilities.

Each local Panel will be tasked with bringing together local employers and skills providers to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs, and to work together to understand and address specific challenges facing an area.

Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “As a business-led organisation we have, through our Skills Strategy, always sought to provide the right environment for companies to access the all-important skills in order to grow.

Operating across Kent, Essex and East Sussex, SELEP has successfully put the local in LEPs by working closely with the three Employment and Skills Boards (ESBs), forerunners to the new Skills Advisory Panels and which are integral to our work. Our ESBs are consistent with the Government’s aspirations for the new Panels and once again we believe we are well-placed to deliver economic growth and support our businesses and communities.”

Improving productivity

As part of the guidance the Department for Education is providing each LEP with £75,000 to carry out detailed analysis of workforce skills in their respective areas, with the data used to help drive local Industrial Strategies, focusing on how best to improve productivity.

Graham Razey, Chair of SELEP’s Skills Advisory Group and Group Principal at EKC Group, added: “Working closely with local partners and deliverers our Skills Advisory Group formed of colleges, universities, local authorities, training providers and voluntary sector representatives is the driving force and sounding board for skills work across our area.

“Working closely with our employer-led Employment and Skills Boards (ESBs) we have taken a leading role in shaping the skills of the future agenda, including the Skills Strategy which is already informing a wide range of work on skills. Chairs from the Boards also meet regularly to ensure a LEP wide employer voice on skills.”