Innovative work to increase workplace skills across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is already well underway and helping to address the issue nationally, the area’s LEP chairman said today.
A report published this week by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills says skills shortages across the country are preventing businesses from taking advantage of the economic recovery. Figures released this week show that the UK economy grew by 1.9 per cent in 2013.
Local enterprise partnership chairman Ron Dougan said as one of only three areas nationally selected to run a skills pilot by the Government, businesses and public sector organisations were already working together to build a workforce to match employers’ needs.
Ron said: “Since our enterprise partnership was formed we have recognised that there is an imbalance in employers’ needs and work-ready potential candidates to fill vacancies. We have worked hard to attract investment, increase business expansion and create jobs and have seen considerable success that has been well documented.”
“Now we are making sure that a long-term strategy is in place to ensure people looking for employment have the right skills. We have been recognised by the Government as an area which is addressing this issue and are running one of just three skills pilots nationally. We recently set up our education trust which is seeing education providers working closely with business and we have the i54 South Staffordshire education partnership with Jaguar Land Rover.”
“In addition, councils and businesses are continually working to increase the number of apprentices in our area. We know there is a lot of hard work to be done, but we are acting positively and are confident we can make a difference to people and business.”