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Posted on:
6th December, 2018

Education Secretary announces package of support for Skills Advisory Panels

The Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, has announced a raft of support measures for Skills Advisory Panels to match skills to jobs and boost UK productivity.

Education Secretary announces package of support for Skills Advisory Panels

The panels are local partnerships between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities that will be an essential part of the Local Industrial Strategies being developed by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities.

In his speech on technical and vocational education, the Secretary of State announced:

  • Guidance for Mayoral Combined Authorities, the Greater London Authority and Local Enterprise Partnerships on the role of Skills Advisory Panels, setting out the purpose, composition and responsibilities of a Skills Advisory Panel.
  • An analytical toolkit  to support Skills Advisory Panels to carry out high quality local skills analysis, which will be used by Skills Advisory Panels to fully understand and assess their skills needs and wider labour market challenges, now and in the future.
  • That each Skills Advisory Panel will get £75,000 to analyse their local skills needs and priorities, which could include employing a labour market analyst.

Welcoming the announcement, the Director of the LEP Network, Warren Ralls, 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.”

Skills Advisory Panels aim to bring together local employers and skills providers to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs, and to work together to understand and address key local challenges. This includes both immediate needs and challenges and looking at what is required to help local areas adapt to future labour market changes and to grasp future opportunities.

Full details of the guidance setting out how government will support Skills Advisory Panels, and its expectations as to their role, structure and governance is available here.

The SAP analytical toolkit is available here. 

A full copy of the Secretary of State's speech is available here.