From education to employment

Sector Skills Council and ALP in Ground – Breaking Agreement

At today’s conference for the Association of Learning Providers (ALP) in Hinckley, an agreement is to be announced that seems set to usher in a new era of co ““ operation in the skills sector.

The ALP are to work in conjunction with the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) to help improve training providers” responsiveness to the skills needs of employers in the sector. The agreement will be supported by a full “action plan”, and will be launched by a signing ceremony later today at the conference that sees members of the ALP coming together to discuss the issues that face them within the changing sector.

Cooperation for Quality

The cooperation between SEMTA and the ALP sees two organisations coming together to address areas of mutual concern. The ALP is the leading trade association for vocational learning providers in Britain. The majority of the 400 members are independent private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training organizations. Membership is open to any provider committed to quality vocational learning. Amongst the roll call of members are included some 60 FE colleges involved in work based learning.

SEMTA represent not only a vital cog in education and skills, but also an important part of the UK’s economic prosperity. SEMTA represents some 100,000 companies employing 2.5 million people in the UK. Its member companies provide up to 10% of UK GDP – £74 billion every year ““ and contribute 33% to total UK exports.

The New Agreement

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The agreement will see several changes in the provision available. The two organizations” work together will focus on areas such as lobbying to secure necessary support and training to reduce skills gaps, which have been much reported of late. Careers advisers, such as the Government’s Connexions service, will receive improved information about training opportunities to help promote the sector to young people. Employers will also have access to a new directory of training providers, while regular meetings between ALP and SEMTA representatives will ensure better communications between the employers and providers. It is hoped that this will see higher quality and more tailored training in the sector.

The ALP are looking forward to this new initiative, with Ian Mynett, Chair of ALP’s engineering sector group, expected to say: “This agreement will undoubtedly assist independent learning providers and colleges in answering the engineering sector’s skills needs when the sector’s employers are expressing demand for more bite-sized and just-in-time training. We are looking forward to working closely with SEMTA and its members to improve productivity levels in a vital part of the economy.”

The Director of Operations at SEMTA, Lynn Tomkins, also welcomes the agreement and the possibility it represents for reform and development: “The agreement will help achieve the objective in our sector that the right person should receive the right training at the right time. I am confident that this new level of co-operation between our two organisations will lead to my members benefiting from sustainable demand-led training provision.”

Jethro Marsh

Welcome this agreement as a sign of FE working well in tandem in the FE Blog

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