Skills Network Event 2014: 'Skills � A Central Pillar in the LEP's Strategic Economic Plan'


Over 60 delegates from the education & training sector gathered at Kirklees College last week for the launch of the latest Labour Market analysis and to hear more about how the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan will meet employer and sector needs.

The aim of the event was to introduce the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and highlights of the latest Labour Market Analysis whilst also providing an opportunity for delegates to direct questions to a panel of key strategic leaders.

The event was chaired by Chris Jones, Principal of Calderdale College and Chair of the Leeds City Region Skills Network and featured guest speakers Roger Marsh, LEP Chair; and Felix Kumi-Ampofo, Economic Intelligence Manager at REIU.

When speaking about the event, Chris Jones said: "Unlocking the skills potential of the Leeds City Region forms a central pillar in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan. This event provided an excellent opportunity to identify the practical steps Colleges, Universities and Providers must take to achieve this objective."

Roger Marsh gave delegates an overview of the Strategic Economic Plan and emphasised the importance of skills as a central pillar in the LEP’s strategy. Key points from the report included:

  • £5.2bn in additional economic output & 62,000 extra jobs
  • £675 million in benefits savings to the exchequer
  • Every £1 invested by the taxpayer will translate into £10 growth within the City Region's and the nation's economic output
  • The City Region will be a net contributor to the public purse

Roger Marsh, LEP Chair, commented: “We have put in place an ambitious yet credible Plan to enable us to be a net contributor to the national economy and unlock our potential as an economic powerhouse. Developing a skilled and flexible workforce is a key strategic pillar in our Plan and I look forward to working with the Skills Network and other partners to deliver economic growth for the region.”

Felix Kumi-Ampofo presented delegates with the latest Labour Market Analysis for Leeds City Region. Some key facts included: Leeds City Region have strong specialisms in several manufacturing sectors and high potential for new jobs, forecasts show that the Leeds City Region economy could create 48k net new jobs between now and 2018, demand for apprenticeships is greater than last year, and achievements of qualifications rose from the previous year in Leeds City Region.

The event was concluded with a Q&A session, led by LEP Board member and Employment and Skills Panel Chair, Stephanie Burras, with delegates sharing the ambition of meeting the challenges of the Skills Plan and of utilising key intelligence to inform future planning.