SME bosses have been urged by various government departments to put forward the case for the creation of a specialist National Skills Academy (NSA) for their particular industry.The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), with its partners, which include the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Trade and Industry, said businesses must express their interest before the consultation process ends on March 5th.It is estimated that a lack of basic skills in the UK work force costs the national economy more than £10 billion each year. It is hoped that the various NSAs will help provide prospective employees with the skills necessary to efficiently work in a particular sector.According to government plans, there will be 12 NSAs in operation by 2008. So far academies covering industries such as construction, financial services and manufacturing have been set up.The next round of academies are planned and these will cover the nuclear, process industries, creative and cultural, and hospitality sectors. The agencies involved asked SMEs who were interested in being involved with these new academies to get in touch before the March deadline."We have set high standards but the prize is great and this flagship programme will play a key part in creating jobs, tackling skills shortages and driving up productivity," said skills minister Phil Hope.The chair of the LSC, Chris Banks, added that these NSA would have a direct benefit for SMEs that involved themselves with the academies."NSAs put employers right at the heart of developing high-quality and relevant training programmes to improve the skills of the workforce for their own sector," he explained.© Adfero Ltd

powered by Typeform