In February 2017, the Marches LEP published its Three Year Skills Plan – a key component in the Marches Strategic Economic Plan to ensure a skilled and flexible workforce is in place to support the growth agenda. It also published a Skills Action Plan, updated in December 2017, setting out how, working with partners, it intends to tackle the challenge of an ageing workforce and an increasing retired population.

LEPs have been given responsibility for skills capital funding and the 2014-20 European Structural Funds. Further devolution of skills funding is also anticipated.

The Skills Action Plan is set in the context of the prevailing national policy environment which includes areas of major reform in the post-16 education sector aimed at raising productivity and achieving economic growth.

These include:

  • Expansion of the Apprenticeship programme with a target of 3 million Apprenticeship
    starts in 2020 and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 to facilitate
    the achievement of this target.
  • More responsiveness to local employer needs and economic priorities through local
    commissioning of adult skills and skills capital and a major reform of post-16 education
    and training through a programme of area-based reviews aimed at enhancing
    collaboration, greater specialisation and supporting progression to higher levels.

The LEP is already tackling the skills challenge in a variety of ways, including investing Growth Deal funding into projects across the region. You can read more about the skills capital Growth Deal projects here.

And as part of its commitment to supporting business, a dedicated skills portal has been developed to assist employers looking for providers and courses for their workforces. Click here for The Marches Skills Search website.

Apprenticeship standards

Apprenticeship standards describe the occupational profile linked to the knowledge, skills and behaviours that bring full competence in a particular occupation. They describe how an apprentice can demonstrate mastery of this occupation by the end of the apprenticeship. You can find out more about Apprenticeship standards here.

A short video on skills and apprenticeships can be viewed here:

Relevant downloads:

Icon of Skills Plan Feb 2017 Final Skills Plan Feb 2017 Final
Icon of Skills Action Plan December 2017 Skills Action Plan December 2017

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