From education to employment

Westminster Plays Host as Great and Good Gather to Mark Start of New Relationship

SkillsActive launched the findings of its Sector Skills Agreement (SSA) at an event held in Westminster recently.

Parliamentarians, industry figures, representatives of other Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) as well as members of the Skills for Business Network attended the event. The launch follows months of consultation and marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between employers and stakeholders to deliver relevant skills, training and development to the sector.

Plan of Action

The agreement consists of an action plan, which is based on the assessment of current and future skills needs, as well as current training provision. Along with these, six core solutions for the active leisure and learning sector have been drawn up which are: improving the quality and range of services; improving recruitment and retention; professionalizing and up skill the existing workforce; matching supply to demand; redirecting funding and increasing sector-investment in people.

These priorities are broken down into key objectives for each home country and the English region, for the five sub-sectors which SkillsActive represents- sport and recreation, health and fitness, playwork, the outdoors and caravans. The reception gave SkillsActive the chance to showcase the research that had been carried out. It also gave VIPs the chance to see the sector in action, with a fitness instructor putting MPs through their paces and a football freestyler entertaining people with his footballing expertise.

Hope’s Hope

Speaking at the launch, Skills Minister Phil Hope MP said: “SkillsActive’s Sector Skills Agreement shows how employers are engaged in the process of addressing the needs of the sector and helping to set its direction and priorities. The SSA is a crucial component of the process to build a legacy for, and beyond, 2012 and I welcome the work carried out by SkillsActive to help create a sustainable future for the active leisure and learning sector.

“With the help of employers and the Sector Skills Councils,” he continued, “there is an opportunity for huge economic success based on the foundations of the SSA. By creating the qualifications employers need and want, and by providing integrated flexible work pathways for individuals, we will be ensuring the growth and success of a dynamic industry.”

The National Museum in Cardiff will be the venue for the Welsh launch with Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, as guest speakers. September will see the launch of the Scottish SSA at the Ã’ranMór, in Glasgow’s West End. The Northern Ireland event is yet to be confirmed.

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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