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A group of industries that employs more than 48,000 people in the south east of England is set for a boost following the National Skills Academy Process Industries’ decision to set up a base.

This skills academy is part of the National Skills Academy network, which was created by the government in 2006 to put employers in charge of shaping the future skills framework and creating their own world class workforce.

The base joins four other regional centres in acting as a one-stop shop on process industries skills issues.

It aims to bridge the gap between employers and training providers to help tackle key skills shortages.

In the south east, the skills academy’s experts will help employers to identify skills gaps, work with training providers to verify existing skills and training, and create development programmes.

It will also seek to attract support funding from Train to Gain and other sources.

The ‘spoke’ will be led by new regional skills manager Lucy Stirland, formerly regional business manager for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

‘We face a very real skills shortage throughout the process industries which, if not addressed, will hamper progress and see us left behind on the world stage,’ said Stirland.

‘In the current economic climate it’s more important than ever that we are well placed for the upturn and having a highly-skilled workforce will play a key part in that.

‘By working alongside employers, providers and supporting bodies we will be helping employers themselves to influence direction, raise standards and drive change through their industries.’ The official launch of the south east base will take place in early 2009.

National Skills Academy Process Industries

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