Wednesday, January 20, 2016

News: Skills lead takes vice chair role at LEP


The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed current board member, Nigel Brewster as vice chair, where he will work closely with Sir Nigel Knowles who recently started as LEP chair.

LEPs are the government's new model to promote economic development. LEPs provide the strategic leadership required to set out local economic priorities, and better reflect the natural economic geography of the areas they serve. The board is private sector led and a partnership between businesses and local authority representatives across the city region.

Nigel, a founding partner of the Brewster Pratap Recruitment Group, has been a LEP board member since the partnership was set up in 2010. As a private sector board member, he has had responsibility for the skills work stream, helping to create a demand-led skills system that meets the needs of businesses in the Sheffield city region.

Nigel Brewster, vice chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "I am delighted to accept this position as Vice Chair of the LEP. The LEP has gone from strength-to-strength over the past few years and has firmly established itself as central to UK's Northern Powerhouse ambitions. The LEP's agenda and profile has grown significantly because of the support from local businesses who recognise the importance and huge potential of our agenda. The appointment of Sir Nigel gives us a strong voice in London and around the world and as vice chair, my role will be to work closely with partners in Sheffield City Region to make sure that we unite behind plans to grow the economy.

"Local leaders have worked very hard to negotiate an incredible £900m of additional funding from Government which will be crucial to plans to improve the economy and create more and better jobs."

Sir Nigel Knowles, LEP chair, added: "Nigel has a wealth of experience in working with partners in the Sheffield city region and has played a hugely influential role in gaining powers and control over skills training in the area. This new role takes his involvement to another level and this is one of my first and most important decisions as the new LEP chairman."

As part of the latest devolution deal proposals, the Sheffield city region will work with Government to "deliver an integrated skills and training system across the local area, driven by the needs of the economy and led by the private sector, giving local businesses the skilled labour they need to grow."

It includes devolved responsibilities that will enable the region to work with the Skills Funding Agency to recommission provision using the adult skills budget and grants for apprenticeships. This means that training for people aged over 19 in Sheffield city region will be co-ordinated in the region based on the particular needs of local people and the needs of local businesses.

An area based review is also taking place regarding education, skills and training for 16-18 year olds so that the skills and training available in the Sheffield city region meets the needs of the local economy and local businesses.

The existing Skills Bank, which gives employers greater purchasing power and control in how government funded training is accessed, is also set to be enhanced.

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Brewster Pretap


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