Lean times ahead for skills funding from Government but Proskills UK close to winning the lion’s share
Proskills, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the Process and Manufacturing sector, has reached the final stage of the Joint Investment Programme and is close to securing £3.7m in skills funding for its industries which includes print. Over 80 companies involving potentially 12,000 learners in the process and manufacturing sector responded to Proskills’ request for interest in the Joint Investment Programme, and have been included in the bid.
The Joint Investment Programme (JIP), is designed to bring together public and private investment into 50-50 match-funded plans to support training and skills development in areas key to economic recovery and future growth and Proskills was one of 21 organisations which submitted an Expression of Interest to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) for funding from the Joint Investment Programme (JIP) for training people in low carbon technologies. The Expression of Interest has been accepted by the SFA, and Proskills is now preparing a detailed plan for agreement by September 2010
Terry Watts, Proskills CEO, said: “The budgetary issues facing the Government are well documented, and the funding for skills and training are not immune from the ongoing cuts and savings. With the majority of focus on keeping young people in training or employment, funding for people in the workforce is likely to become harder to find in the future. We received huge support from industry in our bid for one of the few budgets available and we are delighted that we have reached the final business planning stage. The skills developed through this programme will be vital to industry as we adapt to the low carbon agenda.”
Research by Proskills shows that two thirds of employers say that environmental and low carbon issues will be important for the process and manufacturing industries in the future. The Joint Investment Programme will bring together for the first time a coherent programme that addresses the low carbon skills agenda in the sector, and will include energy reduction, new technologies, product performance, waste reduction, alternative fuels, and warehousing. All of the public funding assigned through the programme will be spent directly on training and qualifications for people in the sector.
Watts continued: “The money assigned by the Government through this scheme will be matched by employers on a 50:50 basis, showing the continuing commitment of employers in the sector to training and developing their employees. By working with industry in this way we have been able to demonstrate to government that there is demand for the right provision out there, but that the current system is unable to satisfy it.”