New skills academy set to tackle obesity

The sector skills council for the leisure and learning industry has outlined its vision for a national skills academy.

The multi-million pound partnership between employers, specialist agencies and training providers will form a key plank of SkillsActive’s bid to address the problem of obesity in the UK.

Rather than focusing purely on raising skill levels to increase profitability or productivity, SkillsActive has broader aspirations linked to improving the nation’s health and social inclusion. Its chief executive, Stephen Studd, said: “Faced with rising levels of obesity, we want to raise the whole profile of physical activity and get more people involved in living an active, healthy lifestyle.”

Meetings with employers are planned in the coming weeks to shape the concept of the skills academy. SkillsActive is calling for employers who feel they have something to contribute to submit their ideas.

Studd said: “Feedback on our proposals so far has been encouraging, but now we are calling for more employers to get involved and help us to shape what the academy may look like.”

SkillsActive is battling for government funding against sector skills councils from a range of other industries, including retail and construction, which are setting up their own national academies.

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