Skills investment projects get the go-ahead

View Latest News Publish Date: 30-Jun-2011

Skills investment projects get the go-ahead

Projects totalling with a value of over £5 million have been given the green light, thanks to a new Employer Investment Fund (EIF), run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.


Launched on 8 March, the fund aims to raise employer investment in skills across the UK by supporting innovative and sustainable programmes run by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs).


Skills minister John Hayes said:


“Our policy is to use public funding to support projects that businesses themselves have identified will help them meet their skills needs, and which will leverage significant private investment.  These projects will enable Sector Skills Councils to facilitate co-ordinated, employer-led action to identify and address future skills gaps, helping businesses deliver long term prosperity and higher productivity.


“In particular, I want to explore how licences to practice and new guilds can drive up standards and help create the purposeful pride which springs from elevating the practical.”


Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, explained:


“Commissioners were keen to invest in projects that showed how Sector Skills Councils would work with employers to deliver real solutions to meeting the skills needs of their sector.  All of the successful proposals were clear and concise about how they would contribute to raising employer investment in skills across all four nations.  Over the coming months we will be working with each of the successful Sector Skills Council teams to ensure each investment does contribute to achieving real impact in meeting the skills needs of employers.”


Skills minister John Hayes added:


“These projects are exactly the type of partnership working needed between SSCs and their sector employers, to bring new investment in skills and tackle future skills gaps.”


The winning projects include the development of a Skills Passport for health workers; a Green Deal Skills Action Plan developed by SSCs covering the construction and building services sectors, and a feasibility study to explore the potential of a logistics guild. 


A licence to practise will be developed in the automotive and life sciences sectors and a gold standard for the creative industries indicating to employers and individuals the very best in training and education.  In the IT sector, 200 employers will match-fund a project to create a progression of talent into the sector and, in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, a talent retention project will ensure that those displaced following the Strategic Defence and Security Review do not have their valuable skills wasted.


Six Women in Work initiatives, which will help nearly 2,000 women progress in male-dominated sectors such as manufacturing and engineering, hospitality, science-based industries, construction, building services, and land-based industries were also approved. 


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