The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is inviting employers to work together to expand the National Skills Academy network.
This network of employer-led centres of excellence was launched by education secretary Alan Johnson in October last year. It aims to drive up skills levels and productivity in England by delivering the skills required by each major sector of the economy.
The new prospectus is for the third round of National Skills Academies, which are expected to open in 2008.
The government estimates that lack of basic skills training is currently costing the UK economy more than £10bn each year.
The government aims to have 12 National Skills Academies up and running by 2008. So far, academies for the construction, financial services and manufacturing industries have been approved, while food and drink is at an advanced stage of development.
Academies for the nuclear, process industries, creative and cultural and hospitality sectors are expected to open this year.
Skills minister Phil Hope said: “The Leitch Review of Skills recognises the role that the National Skills Academies will play in raising demand for skills from employers and learners.
“Employers have the critical role to play as sponsors, providing a clear vision, strong strategic leadership and funds for sustainable development.”