Partnership aims to provide expertise and ambitious direction to meet skills needs
A new partnership has been launched to replace the Leeds City Region Skills Network with a renewed brand and outlook.
The West Yorkshire Skills Partnership brings together senior leaders from universities, FE colleges and independent training providers to influence skills policy strategy, globally, nationally and locally.
At the ‘Skills For West Yorkshire’ conference on Thursday 1 July, the partnership was unveiled to over 300 delegates by its Chair, Nav Chohan, Principal of Shipley College.
He said, “In line with the shift to a Mayoral Combined Authority, we needed to take a strong, purposeful step forward and reflect the changes to geography and funding systems. The new partnership enables key education and training institutions to collectively contribute to policy development and play a key role in their delivery in order to grow skills in this region.
“Our members’ knowledge and experience is essential to the success of this region’s economic growth. This partnership allows a clear voice to represent the skills industry and our colleagues in government will have a direct route to our expertise.”
The core members of the partnership include the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, West Yorkshire Learning Providers and Yorkshire Universities. But the partnership engages with wider representation including the voluntary sector, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and industry bodies.
The former Leeds City Region Skills Network was formed in 2012. A Partnership Agreement was signed between all FE colleges, universities, independent training providers and the LEP.
Training providers have worked tirelessly to engage with employers and representative bodies over the last nine years. This work has allowed a better understanding of the region’s training needs and to feed in practical guidance to government about the opportunities that exist.
The partnership will continue to work with employers and collectively respond to their needs at a strategic level.
At its second virtual conference, the new brand and Terms of Reference were outlined by Nav Chohan. He explained that the members will meet quarterly, to better understand the challenges and operational realities of skills delivery. Decisions and strategic direction on skills will be agreed and cascaded to relevant networks. The partnership will continue to provide the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel with insight, best practice and creative solutions to meet inclusive growth ambitions in the region.
The West Yorkshire Skills Partnership website is now live www.wyskillspartnership.co.uk