Looking to a brighter future

SummitSkills has outlined its work so far on a major new project called Horizon, which will create a Sector Skills Agreement for building services engineering. The project has been introduced for employers to have a greater say in training for both the next generation of employees and their existing workforce. This will fundamentally alter the way skills are developed and delivered.

Keith Marshall, Chief Executive of SummitSkills, explained: “The Sector Skills Agreement is a deal between employers, training providers and the Government that we are facilitating. Employers lay out what their workforce and skills requirements are now and in the future and, in return, the Government and training providers agree to fund and deliver training tailored to this need, within government policy, providing employers are also willing to make a commitment.”

So far, SummitSkills has researched the skills required for the future and the quality of training provision currently available. Between now and the end of the year, employers, industry partners and stakeholders will be brought together at consultation workshops to address the issues that have been uncovered through the research.

The aim of the workshops will be to develop solutions to the needs raised, and agree how each party in the sector can work together to implement those solutions. Outcomes from the workshops will help formulate a final agreement for each region within England, and country of the UK, due for launch in spring 2007.

Dr Mike Hammond, Research Manager said: “SummitSkills has carried out face to face interviews with over 400 businesses across Britain. The information collected is being mapped against quantitative data on workforce requirements, as well as government literature and strategy documents, giving an overall picture of the core issues for the sector. This will provide a solid evidence base to influence change.”

To find out what the key issues are in each country or region, and give your opinions on the findings and solutions, please register at www.horizon-ssa.org.uk.

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