Greater Lincolnshire has a key role to play in two skills schemes announced yesterday.

Greater Lincolnshire has a key role to play in two schemes announced yesterday (Thursday) by the Government which aim to improve skills and learning.

Greater Lincolnshire has been invited to participate in the first wave of a Career Learning Pilot and has been named as one of seven areas which will get its own Skills Advisory Panel.

The Government is supporting a series of Career Learning Pilots to test different approaches to adult learning. Involvement in the pilots will allow the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership to gather good evidence about what works well locally and shape the future of the skills system for adult learning. 

The Government has also announced seven pilot Skills Advisory Panels in Greater Lincolnshire, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Leeds, Thames Valley Berkshire and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

It recognises that local areas are already involved in a range of activity to ensure that local training provision meets the needs of employers, and the seven Skills Advisory Panels will support this activity.

The panels will be embedded within LEPs and will bring together employers and education, with the support of the Department for Education, with the aim of ensuring that there is local influence at national level.

At the first Skills Summit in Whitehall yesterday (Thursday), the Education Secretary Justine Greening MP told Britain’s top businesses that enlisting their support in training the next generation of highly skilled British workers is the key to creating a country fit for the future.

Herman Kok, a LEP Director and Chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire Employment and Skills Board, commented: "We are delighted to be taking part in these pilots. It is great news that the Department for Education has recognised the work of the Employment and Skills Board locally, and participation will give us a fantastic opportunity to influence the kind of provision that is available locally. 

“Large and sparsely populated areas like ours don't always benefit from the existing skills system in the way that urban areas do, and we welcome the opportunity to shape a Greater Lincolnshire approach to demonstrate how to overcome this.”

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economy and Place at Lincolnshire County Councillor and a LEP Director, said: “Lincolnshire has a wide range of strong and innovative businesses and is a key player in the Midlands Engine. It's clear that we will have an important role to play in our country's industrial future.

“But if we are to make the most of the opportunities to come, it's vital that we have enough people with the right skills. That's why I'm particularly pleased with today's announcement, which will give Greater Lincolnshire the freedom it needs to develop a highly skilled workforce.

“Importantly, it will give local employers real influence over the educational and training opportunities available to young people in their area.

"Not only will this ensure that local businesses can more easily recruit the skilled workers they require, but it will also mean that our young people are better equipped to enter the jobs market than ever before.”