Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership bolsters skills team
Strategic economic body Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has made a double appointment to help drive forward the county’s skills agenda.
Claire Dunn and Jon Power have joined the team at Cumbria LEP as sector skills managers, to strengthen links between training providers, higher education and local employers in high growth sectors with the aim of driving forward the county’s skills investment plan.
The duo will work with specific sector groups to understand their skills requirements, and liaise with education and skills providers to meet those needs.
Ms Dunn will focus on activity in the nuclear, manufacturing, visitor economy and professional services sectors, while Mr Power is focusing on logistics, construction, rural economy and health and social care sectors.
Cumbria’s skills investment plan includes several key targets for 2020, such as as increasing apprenticeships within the county from 5,000 to 6,000 per year and the number of working age people with level 4 qualifications by 9,000.
Mr Power – who has held a number of key strategic regional and local roles, including head of employer and delivery services at the Skills Funding Agency and stakeholder relationship posts with the Learning & Skills Council and Cumbria Connexions – said: “Our aim is to ensure that the county has a vibrant skills, education and training system that is responsive to the needs of employers.
“We are also looking closely at how we tackle sector skills gaps in certain areas and working with employers and our responsive skills system to develop targeted training and support.”
Ms Dunn has 30 years of experience within the field of HR and learning and development with a number of major Cumbrian employers, and is a former Chair of the CIPD Cumbria branch.
She added: “Both Jon and I are passionate about businesses having the right people with the right skills so that they can be successful.
“Cumbria LEP, local employers and skills providers are working closely to ensure we have the right learning environments and opportunities for the workforce.
“We want to boost skills and strengthen links between industry and training providers to provide the right workforce development support.”
Head of Employment and Skills at Cumbria LEP Craig Ivison highlighted the “wealth of experience and expertise in skills development” of the duo.
“These are two key appointments as we continue to work more closely with employers in key sectors, business organisations and the county’s network of education and skills providers to ensure that we nurture a highly skilled workforce,” he said.