Industry and unions drive forward plans for skills agreements

Employers
and trade unions have met to discuss the potential benefits that the new
network of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) could bring to employees and
organisations.

Delegates
from the engineering, construction, IT and audio-visual industry sectors met at
the TUC to consider the further development of Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs),
which will provide an agreed framework for the funding and delivery of skills
in the UK.

The
SSAs are being created through discussion between SSCs, education and training
providers, and funders, such as the Learning & Skills Council and the
Higher Education Funding Council.

Christopher
Duff, chief executive of the Sector Skills Development Agency, said a key
feature of SSCs is that they are employer-led. 

“However,
our employer partners and the main employer representative organisations
recognise that the SSCs exist to address the skills development needs of their
sectors’ workforce as a whole and not just the interests of employers,” he
said.

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber said: “For us in the unions the issue of
skills is becoming ever more important, giving increased opportunities for our
members and our potential members.”

By Michael Millar

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