NIACE responds to guidance on European funds for LEPs

31 May 2013

NIACE has published its response to the Government’s initial guidance on European funds for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Whilst there is still much technical detail to be decided NIACE welcomes the potential flexibilities in the new system.

NIACE recommends that:

  • Patterns of participation and local demographic change are taken into account in the LEPs plans.
  • The new freedoms and flexibilities ensure local skills gaps are met quickly and efficiently.
  • LEPs enable communities to bring forward local projects to meet local needs using the structures for community led development.
  • LEPs consult and involve community organisations and learners in designing and reviewing local plans.

Penny Lamb, Head of Policy Development at NIACE said:

“Engagement in learning is not evenly distributed across society. Our annual participation survey shows it is determined by class, employment status, age and prior learning. European funding for adult learning and skills is critical in addressing some of these disadvantages.

“We can see many opportunities for LEPs and partners to work together to produce plans that reflect local participation, changes in working patterns and the needs identified by local communities.

“The examples we show in our response highlight the many ways in which adult learning and skills can create sustainable economic growth through change in businesses, communities and individuals.”