From education to employment

Skills Academy network to expand further

Sport, hospitality and creative industries each to get own skills academy.

Three new skills academies are to be opened, providing teaching for over 400,000 learners over the next five years.
Last Wednesday Minister for Skills, David Lammy, announced that the National Skills Academy Network would expand to include academies in Sport and Active Leisure, Creative and Cultural and Hospitality.
These are all skill sectors which are expected to expand hugely over the next decade and in their first year alone the new academies will teach over 20,000 learners. There are now nine approved National Skills Academies, working towards the government’s target of having a Skills Academy in every major sector by the end of 2011.
David Lammy said: "The National Skills Academy network will make a substantial contribution to the success of the UK economy. By making a long term investment in high quality training, tailored to specific sector needs, the employers involved in these partnerships will reap dividends in terms of enhanced productivity, creativity and competitiveness."
The National Skills Academy for Sports and leisure will be supported by Sport England, Fitness First and the England and Wales Cricket Board while the Hospitality Academy will be supported by Barcelo Hotels, Compass Group plc, Terry Laybourne and Edge Foundation amongst many other organisations.
The academies all aim to provide a coherent approach to training across their sectors. It is estimated that 33,000 extra staff will be needed to keep the Creative and Cultural Industry competitive over the next decade and the hospitality sector will need 860,000 extra staff by 2012. The Sport and Active Leisure Academy will work towards staging a successful 2012 Olympic games and 50% of the nation being healthy and active by 2020.
Michele Roberts, Director of Skills Development Network at the Learning Skills Council said: "The network is result of teamwork between business and Government to keep training provision the core of these vital industries. We are working hard to help modernise training delivery so that it is relevant and keeps pace with employer demand. We want learners to access industry skills so they remain inspired and competitive for years to come."
The network has already been successful in raising skill standards in sectors as diverse as construction, financial services and nuclear and growth is set to continue with the launch of a new prospectus. The prospectus is aims to encourage more employers to work together to set the training agenda in their sectors.
Marie Kemplay

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