Skills Minister endorses Leeds City Region Skills Partnership


Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills, met with LEP Chair Neil McLean in Leeds on 11th January to endorse the Skills Partnership Agreement signed between the LEP and the Leeds City Region Skills Network.

The Agreement signals the commitment of the LEP to work in partnership with education and skills bodies to drive economic growth, and was welcomed warmly by the Minister.

Collectively the partners will ensure that education and skills training in our area responds better to the needs of employers and the wider economy, to support growth and success for future generations. The LEP’s work with local colleges and providers, based on extensive research with local businesses in 2012, is leading the way on this approach nationally and was the basis for significant new decision-making and spending powers agreed through our City Deal.

The Minister also heard about flagship programmes designed to tackle youth unemployment including the new Apprentice Training Agency launched in Leeds recently by Cllr Wakefield with funding pledged under the City Deal with Whitehall, which offers SMEs the chance to take on apprentices more easily.

The LEP delegation included Leeds City Region political leaders, represented by Cllr Keith Wakefield of Leeds City Council; business leaders, represented by John Anderson, BT, as Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Board; and the Leeds City Region Skills Network, represented by Chair, Michele Sutton of Bradford College.

Photograph (L-R): Michele Sutton, Chair of Leeds City Region Skills Network; John Anderson, Chair of Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Board; The Hon Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills; Neil McLean, Chair of Leeds City Region LEP Board; Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council.