Skills Advisory Panels
Skills Advisory Panels (SAP) were first introduced by Government in its Industrial Strategy launched in November 2017.
In December 2018 the Department for Education (DfE) launched SAP Guidance and a toolkit, in which it sets out the requirement for each Mayoral Combined Authority or LEP to carry out the function of a SAP either through an existing or newly formed Skills Board. The Marches LEP transitioned from the Marches LEP Skills Board to the new Marches LEP Skills Advisory Panel (SAP) in October 2019.
The SAP has an advisory role to the Marches LEP Board to provide a strong leadership role on skills in the local area, engage with employers and providers and provide skills advice to the Marches LEP Board.
The SAP will provide well-evidenced, robust advice to influence investment and strategic decisions (including the People foundation of our Local Industrial Strategy (LIS)) for addressing local skills challenges and ultimately drive change for the Marches region. With this information, the SAP will be able to advise and support providers in order to influence delivery of the skills required by employers.
The Department for Education is working closely with LEPs to develop an analytical toolkit to help build analytical capability for each SAP. We continue to build on our work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to support the development of a new digital skills platform and increase our understanding of digital skills trends in line with the priorities outlined in our SEP.
Our Skills Plan and Skills Action Plan will be updated by Spring 2020 to accurately reflect the priorities outlined in our LIS, SEP and agreed by the SAP.
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.
We have developed an Employer Toolkit to help local businesses understand how apprenticeships can impact on their business performance. This step by step guide is intended to help businesses at the various stages of the apprenticeship journey, directing them to key information as well as local support services which are available.
The LEP has been proactive in attracting funding to support training and skills development projects for example the Marches Construction Ready Partnership.
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.
A short video on skills and apprenticeships can be viewed 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.