Accelerating skills and training opportunities in the GBSLEP region

Accelerating skills and training opportunities in the GBSLEP region

22 Sep 2021


As part of the post-Covid 19 recovery, GBSLEP is working with its partners and wider bodies to train, upskill and develop a talented workforce. This contributes to driving productivity and growth of the local economy. 

There has never been more important than now as such skills shortages act as a brake on our economic growth and productivity.

We maintain a commitment to increase in our skilled workforce. This will close the gap between skills levels and meet increasing employer demand for higher skilled labour.

We are implementing a range of initiatives to ensure we upskill at least 10,000 more people each year at NVQ level 3 (A Level) and above to meet these targets. Our initiatives include:

  • A Skills and Apprenticeship Hub designed to work directly with businesses to increase the uptake of training programmes to directly improve business performance. The Hub provides a one stop shop to all skills and apprenticeship services available for employers to directly improve productivity and performance. A totally bespoke and demand-led service, bringing advice, support, provision and funding under one umbrella, the Hub also now houses GBSLEP’s Plan for Jobs initiatives including the Kickstart scheme.
  • Development of a capital build skills pipeline of projects to regenerate our learning infrastructure across the GBSLEP area. This includes the creation of an Institute of Technology, new local STEM and STEAM centres and the build of new state of the art facilities to specifically meet skills needs in growth areas;
  • Working with Higher Education institutions to design a programme to attract and retain more graduates in the area and ensure their progression into appropriate employment after university;
  • Creation of sector industry/education partnerships to ensure the routeways to work are open at all levels. This includes developing our Science and Industry Partnership to bring business, academia and the public sector together to support our key Health Technologies sector. Only the fourth such Partnership in the country our Health Tech SIP works to influence policy and develop sector specific interventions at the West Midlands level;
  • Development of sector careers pathways to support education (including school) leavers into their chosen career opportunity. We are developing key partnerships to improve careers advice, work experience opportunities and pathways into high skilled and meaningful employment opportunities with national partners and employers, to ensure our young people are inspired by the world of work and can access he opportunities it presents;
  • Delivery of identified skills specifically needed to meet the challenges of today and the needs of tomorrow – such as high-level digital skills, including through our virtual digital skills academy which sees provision of digital and data related skills to Level 7 in the Business, Professional and Financial Services sector.

Professor Helen Higson, GBSLEP Chair of Employment and Skills Board comments: "Here at GBSLEP we recognise the need to have the right skills and training for a route into satisfying jobs, and progress through rewarding careers, through our Skills and Apprenticeship Hub.

Our business-led approach enables us to be specific and targeted in the way we assess what job roles an organisation needs, the associated skills training needed and the complementary offer local providers can supply. 

Our ambition of providing higher level skills training will help create a pipeline of talent for the businesses we work with in key areas of growth such as low carbon, creative industries, life sciences, business, professional and financial services and advanced food and drink manufacturing.

Together with our partners in local government, business and education we stand ready to deliver the Government’s 'Lifetime Skills Guarantee’. It will enable individuals to access higher level skills at any point in their careers to meet the needs of employers, facilitate business recovery and increase future productivity.”


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