In Business growth and finance, News, Skills

The search is on for the cream of North East business talent to help raise worker skills levels, creating more and better jobs as part of a programme of economic growth worth around £500m.

Up to six people are being sought by the North East LEP to represent local employers at the heart of a new employment and skills board.

These key posts will help underpin new economic growth by advising the full North East LEP Board where to best target funding to nurture a new generation of skilled workers to fill more specialist posts.

Better skilled workers will be more appealing to employers who are demanding more qualified employees to fill jobs in fast growth sectors such as digital and tech industries, marine offshore and advanced manufacturing.

The new North East Employment and Skills Board is due to go live in March.

Its aim will be to drive new thinking around employability and skills. The new board will bring together up to six ambitious business, voluntary and community sector representatives working alongside LEP board members and other key partners in the employability and skills arena.

Employability and skills are two of the six priorities outlined in the North East Strategic Economic Plan ‘More and Better Jobs’.

The skills and employability programmes provide the framework for an investment of about £500m over the next six years into the local economy through the North East LEP from Government and European Union funding.

A substantial part of this investment aims to drive up skills achievements across all levels, from engaging with those who are traditionally hard to reach, through to ensuring graduates are equipped with appropriate skill sets for working in growing companies.

North East LEP board member and Sunderland College Principal Anne Isherwood said: “We are seeking up to six ambitious representatives from the North East business, voluntary and community sectors who will offer energy, commitment, vision and business insight in their respective sectors.

“They must have strong experience in developing business operations and ambitions for growth in their businesses through understanding skills requirements and needs within industry sectors.”

The non-executive posts will demand about nine days time per year with appointments made for up to three years. The posts are unpaid. Initially the employment and skills board will meet bi-monthly.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Vice Chair and Skills Lead, said: “Specifically, we are aiming to ensure that North East businesses have access to appropriately skilled people who will participate and thrive in a competitive economy.

“We wish to appoint up to six leaders to represent employers – both private and voluntary sector – in the North East LEP area, who are able to champion and articulate the skills needs of businesses in the context of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.”

Businesspeople wishing to apply for a new board post should send a CV or up to date biography with a covering letter to Michelle Duggan.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 10 February 2015. You can read the Employment and Skills Board Applicant Brief here.

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