Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Developing Skills for Business Network

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Developing Skills for Business Network

Article excerpt

"I urge all of you here today to support the work of the Sector Skills Councils in driving forward this agenda and to provide leadership in your sectors, working in partnership with government, trade unions and others so that we can ensure that, in British industry and across the economy, we have the skills we urgently need to prosper. So we stand ready in government across the United Kingdom - to work with you in a powerful new partnership to deliver on this challenge."

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking during the Skills for Business Convention, November 2002

The new Skills for Business network is in its early development stage. It currently consists of two types of organisations. Five trailblazer Sector Skills Councils have already been establishing new ways of working during the first year of their two-year licences. A further ten organisations are 'Sector Skills Councils-in-development'; working towards full five-year licences. Some of these are so fledgling that they don't even have proposed names as yet. The first five-year licences will be granted from April 2003 after strict criteria have been met.

The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA)

Once the Skills for Business network is fully established it will consist of some 25 to 30 Sector Skills Councils - representing around 85% of the total UK workforce. The Sector Skills Development Agency will take responsibility for covering the remaining workforce in addition to its other duties. For further details about the Skills for Business network as a whole, visit the Sector Skills Development Agency's website at


Name: Cogent

Sector: Oil and Gas Extraction, Chemicals Manufacturing and Petroleum Industries

Sector Coverage: Oil and gas exploration and extraction: chemicals manufacturing and processing; petroleum refining, blending, storage and distribution; forecourt operations; oil-fired heating services; manufacture of aviation fuels, bitumen and inks

Name: Lantra

Sector: Environmental and Land-based Industries

Sector Coverage: Agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology: aquaculture; environmental conservation: equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game conservation; land-based engineering: landscaping: productive horticulture; tree and timber; veterinary nursing

Name: Skilifast-UK

Sector: Apparel, Footwear and Textile Industries

Sector Coverage: Textile production; technical textiles; man-made fibre production; manufacture of clothing and allied products; leather production; manufacture of leather goods; manufacture of footwear; shoe repair; linked retail; associated design

Name: Skillset

Sector: Audio Visual Industries

Sector Coverage: Broadcast; film; video and interactive media

Name: Skillsmart

Sector: Retail Industry

Sector Coverage: All UK retailers


Proposed Name: Automotive Skills Council

Sector: Sales, Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles

Sector Coverage: Providers of servicing, maintenance, repair and valeting services; bodyshops (repairers, rebuilders and refinishers); vehicle inspection and MOT testing; specialist sellers and fitters of parts, accessories, and motor fuels; vehicle rental, leasing and flees management and insurance; roadside assistance and recovery

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