Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the freight logistics industries, is backing the Government's Skills White Paper issued today. The White Paper, presented by Ruth Kelly, promotes vocational education, and highlights the importance of ensuring that skills development, training and education are industry relevant and appropriate in order to benefit the UK economy.
"Skills for Logistics is very supportive of this White Paper. It is vital that policy regarding skills supply is responsive to the future needs of employers and that industry is in the driving seat when it comes to skills development," commented Ian Hetherington, chief executive, Skills for Logistics. "A demand-led vocational education system is a key aspect of ensuring that UK plc is a force to be reckoned with," he enthused.
The role of SSCs is to ensure that sector specific training and skills development provisions are available to employers, both at a national and regional level. As employer led organisations, SSCs are able to accurately articulate the skills needs required according to industry sector through Sector Skills Agreements. Skills for Logistics is one of the first ten SSCs participating in the Sector Skills Agreement Programme.
The White Paper highlights a new programme - the National Employer Training Programme (NETP) - this programme will increase the resources to workforce development in a focused way ensuring that identified business needs are met and that training supply is of a high standard and readily available. It also recognises that employers need effective brokers to guide them through the maze of providers and funding. The development of NETP and sector specialist brokerage service, will ensure that these programmes have an impact in upskilling the workforce in the UK.
Skills Academies are one initiative mentioned that will provide sector specific provision with the support and investment of employers. The purpose of the academy is to enable employers to define knowledge and skills requirements ensuring that qualifications are fit for purpose. Skills for Logistics welcomes this initiative.
Skills for Logistics supports the Governments comments on the importance of higher education as a key element of skills supply. The White Paper demonstrates a commitment from the Government to assist HIEs in addressing employer skills needs.
"Action based on this white paper will provide a positive outcome for industry. It provides a central role for employers and SSCs in planning training provision and funding," concluded Ian Hetherington.