Employers to suffer after SSC setback

Local government employers will suffer after the sector was allocated one of
the new Expert Body skills development organisations instead of attaining
Sector Skills Council (SSC) status.

The Government will not outline the exact powers of the new Expert Bodies
until April, but Joan Munro, director of development at the Employers’
Organisation for Local Government, said the decision means the sector will
receive less funding and resources and its influence over the training of its
staff will be significantly reduced.

The SSCs are employer-led bodies introduced last March to replace the
National Training Organisations to promote skills development. Most of the UK’s
other major sectors have benefited from the funding and expertise they provide.

The local government Expert Body would be expected to feed into the six
management-based SSCs – including social services and education – that overlap
with local government’s services.

Munro told the conference the decision not to give local government its own
SSC, despite the intervention of local government minister Nick Raynsford,
could have a damaging effect on the drive to build skills capacity in local

"The Sector Skills Development Agency is not convinced that the skills
in local government are unique. It thinks managing in the sector is the same as
at Marks & Spencer," Munro said.

The sector has a final opportunity to change the SSDA’s decision at their
meeting in March.

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