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Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership strengthens skills team

Craig Ivison - Head of Employment & Skills at Cumbria LEP
Craig Ivison – Head of Employment & Skills at Cumbria LEP

[C]umbria’s strategic economic body has appointed three education and skills experts to take forward one of the county’s key economic drivers.

Craig Ivison, Charlotte Crozier and Caroline Ledward have joined the team at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to help implement the county’s Skills Investment Plan up to 2020.

The skills plan for the county, drawn up in consultation with employers and local education and training institutions, aims to improve skills levels, increasing the county’s workforce and assisting employers.

It includes key targets for 2020, such 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.

The LEP’s new Head of Employment and Skills Craig Ivison is responsible for ensuring effective, collaborative partnership working to meet the skills needs of employers in the county.  He is also playing a key role in ensuring that employers and training providers are ready to maximise the benefits of the new Apprenticeship Levy.

Caroline Ledward’s role as Cumbria LEP’s 16-19 NEET Manager will involve working with employers, partners and wider stakeholders to address skills issues and support direct training provision for young people not in employment, education or training.

As Sector Skills Manager Charlotte Crozier will act as a link with employers to help analyse future skills needs to ensure more local people can gain the right qualifications to remain in Cumbria to work.

“Cumbria has a successful track record of employers, training providers and agencies working together to secure a high quality, relevant skills offer for their communities,” explains Craig Ivison.  “We want to build on this effective collaboration and continue to develop a vibrant skills system that responds to the current and future needs of our economy.”

The team has major objectives in aligning the skills offer to the needs of employers, young people, the current workforce and those not currently in employment.

George Beveridge, Chair of the Board at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, adds: “The LEP is playing an increasingly active role in the provision of skills development and training opportunities.  We need to respond to economic demand for higher level skills in key industries and the addition of Charlotte, Caroline and Craig will accelerate that process.  We warmly welcome them aboard.”

Cumbria LEP has established an Employment and Skills Advisory Group to bring employers and education and training providers together and drive the skills agenda in the county forward.

For further details about Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, go to www.cumbrialep.co.uk

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