2009 Skills Assessment and regional skills policy

The productivity gap in the West Midlands regional economy appears to be widening, despite a narrowing skills gap.

This was one of the key issues arising at a dissemination event for the Observatory’s Regional Skills Assessment held last Friday at the Observatory.

A range of attendees, including higher education representatives and policy officers from organisations including Advantage West Midlands, Sector Skills Councils, the City Region Partnership and Jobcentre Plus, discussed the implications of the Regional Skills Assessment on policy in the West Midlands.

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2009 Skills Assessment for local organisations and their sub-regions

Improving connections between local and regional evidence and policy will be crucial to the success of the forthcoming Regional Skills Strategy.

This was one message from delegates at yesterday’s dissemination event for the Observatory’s Regional Skills Assessment 2009.

A mix of Local Authority officers, higher education representatives and policy officers investigated how the extensive research undertaken by the Observatory can be used by local authorities and other organisations to plan major pieces of work such as Local Economic Assessments.

As the Skills Assessment will also inform work at regional level, including the forthcoming Regional Skills Strategy and Strategy for the West Midlands, the research can help forge links between the local and regional tiers of strategy and policy making.

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Seminars on the 2009 Regional Skills Assessment and the new Regional Skills Strategy

Person wiring cables at Stourbridge CollegeThe Government has published Skills for Growth, a new National Skills Strategy.

This highlights the fact that skilled people are one of the building blocks of successful businesses. Skilled workers can carry out more complex tasks, work more effectively and produce higher value products and services.

They are also better at adapting to changing working environments, enabling firms to respond better to changing global competition and technology. This tends to be particularly effective when businesses use these skills in combination with investment in innovation and technology.

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