South West Regional Skills Enterprise and Employment Analysis 2007/2008
8. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
H Cross-Cutting Themes
• There is considerable scope for more effective joint planning to take place. This will be ever more important as the delivery of employment and skills become more linked and preparations begin for the implementation of the Leitch proposals.
Local Area Agreements
• Few current LAAs have specific skills targets although in many cases their 'non-skills' targets implicitly rely on skills development to achieve the stated aim.
• LAAs need to take greater note of the evidence emerging from the LSC National Employer Survey.
• The Local Government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, places considerable emphasis on the importance of LAAs. It is expected that LAAs/Multi Area Agreements will be the key vehicle for driving government strategy through the Local Authorities.
Leadership and Management
• The NESS and sector analyses show a significant need for Leadership and Management skills in the region, as reported by employers.
• The Leadership & Management Strategic Framework as agreed by the ESP Board needs to be rolled out across the region.
• One of the major problems in the region is not so much the lack of skills but their application to improve productivity.
• There is a need for an effective and consistent all-age IAG service.
• The South West follows the national pattern. People do not know how to access the services available nor do they understand the options available to them. The service is not always available, consistently up-to-date or comprehensive. Those with the greatest need are often the least likely to use the services, especially when the point of delivery is a statutory body or perceived as 'authority'.
• In many instances, the assistance given does not fully exploit the links between learning, work and career outcomes.
• Current LMI is not universally accurate, robust and meaningful. There are inherent difficulties in getting the latest information into the guidance system.
• Demographic change is a significant issue for the UK as a whole and the South West in particular.
• The ageing workforce will have a particular impact on a range of sectors which have a high proportion of the workforce aged over 50 and will face significant replacement demand issues in the next decade. The ESP should continue to monitor the impact of the ageing workforce on skills, employment and economic activity in the region and work with those sectors most affected by an ageing workforce to identify solutions.
• The likelihood of a person taking up training reduces with age and this needs to be addressed by employers and providers alike. The RSP should take the lead in campaigning for adult apprenticeships.
• More flexible working arrangements which retain older workers in the workforce should be encouraged.
• Substantially more people have been moving to rural areas than vice versa.
• Two priority sectors - Food & Drink and Leisure & Tourism - are heavily reliant on the rural nature of the Region.
• The rural nature of the region poses particular problems in relation to access to services and the take up of apprenticeships.
• In the workplace, effective deployment of ICT increasingly drives the business development agenda and is the means by which continuing professional development, at both formal and informal levels, is managed.
• In skills and learning, the role of ICT is no longer confined to e-learning.
• The role and impact of ICT in the region needs to be better understood.
• There should be more effective joint planning involving all partners so that in effect there: is a single shared regional skills strategy; are composite targets (covering all partner priorities and other regional priorities); and agreed performance measures and monitoring arrangements.
• A sectoral approach would be beneficial – construction, care and retail would probably be the first targets for most local authorities in the South West.
• It is important that the ESP recognises the increasing importance of LAAs and ensures that engagement takes place with Local Authorities consistently and at the appropriate level.
Leadership and Management
• Strengthen the market for leadership and management development and promote the cycle of learn, apply and share articulated in the Leadership and Management Strategic Framework to ensure effective skills ultilisation across organisations.
• Full implementation of the South West Leadership and Management Strategic Framework, led by ESP partners with the support of Leadership South West by September 2009.
• Capacity-build within Train to Gain to promote Leadership and Management development and utilization of skills within businesses.
• Ensure regional co-ordination of any additional funds that may arise from the Leitch recommendations by January 2008.
• Recognise the diverse sectoral needs in relation to leadership and management skills.
• The ESP should investigate the feasibility of a bigger, better and more coherent all-age service covering learning, work and careers and making the links to reach out to those groups which have become the most difficult to reach.
• The ESP should strive through partners to improve the co-ordination across the various IAG services to minimise the gaps in provision in anticipation of the introduction of an Adult Careers Service, January 2008;
• The ESP should support the development of a web-based portal for LMI for all users, following the SLIM feasibility report in July 2007.
• The ESP should lead a campaign raising awareness of the impact of demographic ageing and encouraging more flexible working to accommodate older employees.
• The ESP needs to ensure that rural issues are properly taken into account when developing plans.
• The Government needs to be regularly reminded of the particular issues that the rural nature of the South West poses.
• The ESP to develop a better understanding of how digital technology
is profoundly affecting skills & learning and how the region might
develop strategies to make best use of this and support effective practice
in the future.
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