Releasing Hertfordshire’s workforce potential
The first Hertfordshire Skills Strategy has been launched which will help to ensure that the county’s workforce and future labour market are best equipped to meet local employers’ needs.
Hertfordshire LEP in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions produced the wide-ranging Strategy which has been warmly welcomed by businesses and training providers.
The Strategy, Releasing our Potential, and detailed action plan take into account the views and needs of schools, colleges, businesses and other organisations to help increase and develop both our existing and future workforce by:
• helping young people aged 16-24 into training and employment by building greater links with employers and schools and colleges and increasing the number of apprenticeships and traineeships;
• providing a package of measures to support the unemployed, vulnerable adults and those aged 50 plus back into the jobs market;
• enhancing opportunities through lifelong learning by improving adult English and maths skills and encouraging greater focus on training in areas where there are high numbers of low qualified residents;
• helping to deliver higher level skills to meet skills gaps in key sector areas such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences and the creative industries;
• providing targeted skills training support for small to medium-sized businesses.
Local employers and other organisations have warmly welcomed the Strategy which is in response to a Skills Summit last September when more than half of those who attended pledged to help plug the skills gaps reported by Hertfordshire’s businesses.
Lee Mason, Apprentice Programme Generalist for Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd, construction equipment specialists, said: “A Skills Strategy would help enormously by identifying emerging areas and strengthening those that already exist. This will help attract new talent and offer positions to those in need of work.”
Other major employers and organisations which have pledged their support to plug the skills gap include Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, University of Hertfordshire, Youth Connexions and further education colleges and local authorities across the county.
Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chair John Gourd said: “The Skills Strategy puts a framework in place that sets out clear, achievable and measurable objectives which will deliver significant outcomes for Hertfordshire’s residents and businesses.”
Councillor Chris Hayward, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education & Skills and Deputy Leader for Hertfordshire County Council, said: "We’ve listened to the views of local schools, colleges and businesses about how we can all work together to bridge the skills gap. This strategy will help us make real strides in linking young people with local employers, supporting adults back into the workforce, and addressing the specific needs of small to medium-sized businesses. This is with the aim of building a strong, diverse and resilient workforce to address our current and future labour market needs.”
The progress of the action plan will be closely monitored and the Strategy is due to be reviewed in 2017. To view the Strategy click here.