NIACE calls for a new system for local growth and skills

26 March 2013

NIACE is calling for a ‘whole’ system approach to support local learning and skills in its evidence – submitted today – to the Inquiry on Local Growth and the Skills System as called for by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Local Growth, LEPs and Enterprise Zones.

Penny Lamb, Head of Policy Development at NIACE, said:

“In light of the Government’s recent response to the Heseltine review, now is the time to consider how to best shape a local learning and skills system to meet the needs of employers, learners and communities.

“As participation in adult learning continues to fall what’s needed is a ‘whole’ system approach to local growth and skills, which recognises the importance of all aspects of the system working together. The current system is too complex with numerous funding streams creating a disjointed approach to adult learning.

“This ‘whole’ system approach would ensure that LEPs, councils and providers come together to form a partnership which recognises the importance of creating a mid to long term strategy for learning and skills in the local area. This would provide learners with the skills that they need for current and future job roles, but also the skills that local businesses need to boost local growth.

“It is essential that all learners are given adequate information, advice and guidance to ensure they can make informed choices about what kind of learning is right for them to move into employment, progress at work and be active in their communities.”

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Local Growth, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Enterprise Zones was founded in 2011 to provide a forum for productive debate and discussion of these issues within Parliament. Its second Inquiry into Local Growth and the Skills System aims to understand the barriers that businesses, LEPs and councils face in bringing employers and skills providers together and matching provision with need.