More powers needed to help address Hull’s skills shortage

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by KCFM

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A new report has revealed that more needs to be done to tackle the city’s skills shortages.

Giving Hull more powers is key to addressing our area’s skills gap.

That’s according to a report on local job creation, which focused on the city as a case study.

It states that employers and workers have a joint responsibility to support a culture of workplace learning.

The report also suggested SMEs should be encouraged to provide more up-skilling opportunities for their staff, specifically targeted at lower-skilled workers.

Professor Steve Johnson from Hull University Business School carried out the research and explains why a change of approach is needed:

“Not only do we have comparatively low levels of skills and qualifications in the area. Also it appears that the demands for skills from employers is relatively low and that means there’s a danger that we’re going to be stuck at this low skill equilibrium level and not be able to compete.”

He says the way training is delivered currently, is too influenced by the national agenda:

“There wasn’t enough local or regional control over what types of learning were done, what types of subjects and topics people were learning. It was far too driven by national priorities which don’t necessarily link in very well with what’s needed here.”

Professor Johnson says tailoring the training to the needs of the local area is essential:

“We hear a lot about renewables, cultural industries for the City of Culture and we hear about the digital media industries. So we know about all of those things. We can devise the training and skills training to meet those needs which the national organisations and the national government aren’t aware of.”

The research confirmed that linking skills, employment and economic growth at a local level is a major challenge.

Recommendations from the report include:

– Greater local autonomy over the delivery of national skills and employment initiatives

– Engaging small and medium-sized enterprises in skills initiative, in addition to larger and public sector organisations

– Working in partnership and pooling resources

– Improved careers information and advice

– Addressing varying degrees of social exclusion

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Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by KCFM

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