Explaining the ESF Project
Report Segment: Introduction
The sub-regional partnership "Shaping Norfolk’s Future" produced sector development plans and action plans for a range of key sectors in the county during 2007 - 2009. These cover economic development and business competitiveness; sustainability issues; and actions relating to skills in the workforce and skills needed for the future workforce.
This ESF project builds on this work by carrying out in depth analyses of key growth sectors particularly in relation to the skills base of people working in those sectors and the possible skills gaps which exist; discussing findings with employer focus groups; developing sector skills strategy through the Norfolk Employment & Skills Board and engaging local providers in the quest for effective solutions.
This ESF project will work with key growth sectors in Norfolk to identify vocational skills gaps in the workforce and explore how providers in the county can work together to deliver the skills that employers want for their workforce, and employees need for their personal development.
The Norfolk economy is diverse, dispersed between large rural areas and key urban conurbations, and its skills base is uneven.
This project will attempt to gain better understanding of sectors and get underneath the issue of skills, and gain a clearer insight into how supply and demand works for the skills economy.
Nuances of the Skills Economy
What is it we are trying to achieve in this project? A better understanding of sectors is certainly a start. But its more than that; we’re trying to get underneath the issue of skills, and gain a clearer insight into how supply and demand works for the skills economy.
Looking at industry learning, on the supply side there are many private providers and a few public providers (mainly FE colleges and universities). To what extent these providers deliver what is needed in industry must be examined more closely, especially in light of the fact that many companies consistently say that their local college plays no part in their training plans; or that their experience of FE offers little reward. Equally, we need to look more closely at private provision to gain a clearer insight into the market for skills and where public funding intervention is required.