The full timetable for relicensing the entire network of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) has been unveiled by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
To continue operating, each of the UK’s 25 SSCs has to reapply for a licence, which will be awarded if the councils can demonstrate the confidence and support of employers within their sector across the UK.
The relicensing assessments will be carried out by the National Audit Office as an independent third party in consultation with employers.
Recommendations will be made to ministers about all SSCs by August 2009, with some decisions expected as early as February.
Chris Humphries, chief executive of the UKCES, said: “One of the commission’s jobs is to oversee the performance management of the Sector Skills Councils, and relicensing them is part of that.
“The single most important test for any SSC is whether employers in every part of the UK have confidence that their SSC is clearly identifying the priority skills needs of their sector and having real influence over the skills system.”
Launched on 1 April 2008, the commission was a key recommendation in Lord Leitch’s 2006 review of skills.