Leitch adviser Mike Campbell offers to step in as skills envoy

A senior Leitch Review adviser has offered to rescue the government’s skills drive that stalled when Sir Digby Jones left the skills envoy post in July.

Little more than 50 companies have signed the Leitch pledge to train their employees to Level 2 since it was launched by the government with 150 signatures three months ago.

Mike Campbell, director of development at the Sector Skills Development Agency, told Personnel Today he could take on the role. He said a gap needed to be filled between Jones leaving and the Commission for Employment and Skills (CES) starting work in April 2008.

“The CES is supposed to be holding the torch but the delay in getting that up and running leaves a gap,” he said. “I would like to take on the [skills promotion] role, get [employers] on board and we could launch a winter offensive.”

However, Campbell said no-one at the government had approached him.

Skills minister David Lammy – who failed to turn up to a skills conference last week – insisted there was no need for an interim champion. “Michael Rake, chairman of KPMG, is now in post as chair of the CES, where a key role will be to champion the case for skills and promote the importance of skills to employers,” he told Personnel Today .

The British Chambers of Commerce said employers were wondering how their voice would be heard on the skills debate since Jones left. “There has been little progress in clarifying the role of the CES or how it will work in practice,” it said.

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