Posted on Dec 01, 2021
National independent training provider, Learning Curve Group (LCG), release A Skills Future for the North, a report to explore the current further education landscape and establish what needs to change to ensure the UK’s skills sector is fit for the future.
LCG operates nationally and has over 50 sites across the country, with their headquarters in the North East of England. They work with both small businesses and large blue chip organisations to develop training solutions and tackle skills shortages within businesses. A Skills Future for the North builds on a roundtable with employers and education providers in the North, hosted by LCG, and it also draws on external evidence and case studies from a wide range of sectors.
Chief Executive Officer at LCG, Brenda McLeish, said: “As one of the largest independent training providers in the country, proudly based in the North East, it was essential to develop this report to highlight the skills challenges that businesses and regions are currently facing. We believe that the Government should prioritise adult education in the upcoming Bill to ensure adults have access to the training needed to tackle current skills shortages and challenges.
LCG’s vision is to transform lives through learning, and we have completed our goal of transforming over one million lives since 2015 - but we are not finished yet. The pandemic has been challenging for us all, but we now have an opportunity to build back better and turn the notion of levelling up into reality.”
The current skills shortages facing businesses in the North and the wider UK economy are, digital, logistics and health and social care. LCG’s report outlines ways to tackle these skills shortages to ensure the country builds back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. A Skills Future for the North also focuses on the changing economic and demographic landscape that will create new challenges. These are, aging population, meeting net zero, automation and manufacturing and hospitality and tourism. Responding to these skills shortages and challenges will require a robust skills system.
LCG has put forward a number of recommendations that the Government should consider as part of the forthcoming legislation and its wider initiatives. The training provider believes the legislation will be an important step towards meeting current and future skills shortages in the UK, but must be a part of a broader solution that recognises the value of independent training providers (ITPs). The Government has proposed to create a register of providers in the forthcoming legislation which is welcomed by LCG, as this will have a positive impact on the quality of education and training that is delivered to learners.
These recommendations are supported by case studies from organisations that operate across the North such as The Hut Group, The Road Haulage Association, Skills for Care, The North East Chamber of Commerce, CITB and the NHS. These case studies truly highlight the skills shortages we are experiencing in our area and the impact this will have on the future of business in the North.
Overall, LCG’s research suggests an urgent need for the Government to reform the way it determines skills needed across the UK to meet regional and national needs. This will include greater collaboration at local and national levels, and that it is essential that high quality ITPs should have parity with other providers in this space to help deliver the training to support these skills shortages.
Dehenna Davison MP of Bishop Auckland said: “I have been consistently impressed by the high-quality provision I have seen offered by independent training providers in my constituency, including Learning Curve Group. I strongly believe that now is the time for their impact to reach even further through funding parity, putting ITPs on level footing with Further Education (FE) colleges. This will put us in the best position to support learners and our wider economy and deliver on the government’s levelling up vision.
I am delighted that Learning Curve Group has brought together this invaluable document that showcases what the skills sector has to offer and provides a compelling roadmap for unlocking opportunities in this space.”
As one of the country’s leading ITPs Learning Curve Group feel a responsibility to ensure we are equipping individuals in the region with the skills needed to build a successful career, and support businesses. Learning Curve Group look forward to working with the Government over the coming months to secure the best outcomes for learners across the country and regions including the North.
To read A Skills Future for the North please click here.