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Six more Sector Skills Agreements for Wales
Employers in six sectors of the Welsh economy this week signed Sector Skills Agreements designed to help ensure the future supply of education and training in Wales more closely matches the demands of the workplace.
The six sectors covered by the Agreements are:
Each industry has been working closely with its Sector Skills Council in preparing the Agreements, each of which aims to provide a detailed roadmap for the future development of job-related training.
At a formal signing ceremony at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, the Agreements were welcomed by the Welsh Assembly Government Ministers with responsibility for skills and economic development.
Jane Davidson AM, minister for education, lifelong learning and skills, said: "The Welsh Assembly Government and its many partners have been working hard to reduce the divide between the worlds of learning and the workplace.
"Employers are not slow to tell us they need people with better skills; but in order to meet that need we have to know exactly what skills are required and where. These Agreements provide that detail on a sectoral basis, and do so with authority and foresight.
"I congratulate all those businesses and organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors that have taken part in the SSA process and look forward to seeing these latest agreements bear fruit over the months and years to come."
This year's round of SSAs follow the first Agreements signed in 2005 covering employees in science, engineering and manufacturing, construction, the audio visual industries, and IT.
Andrew Davies AM, minister for economic development, said: "It's rewarding to see employers from such a wide range of sectors embracing the skills challenge. They know that better skills for their workforce mean improved productivity and business performance.
"These Agreements show that by working together in Wales we can act promptly and effectively to defend jobs and create new opportunities by giving our people the skills they need in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
"The rigors of international competition and the need to work smarter to stay ahead of the market mean there'll be fewer and fewer jobs for the unskilled in years to come. In the logistics sector, for example, it's no longer enough simply to know how to drive a truck."
Rhys Davies Freight Logistics is a Cardiff-based operation with depots across Britain. The firm has been working with its Sector Skills Council, Skills for Logistics, to improve training opportunities for its employees.
"Training within the logistics sector and within a business like ours is really important," says commercial director Mark Richmond.
"We've worked with Skills for Logistics for quite some time now. We felt it was an opportunity for us to get our voice heard. It's vital that employers are involved because if we don't say clearly what it is we're looking for then quite possibly we could end up with something that's not relevant, doesn't attract our interest and falls by the wayside.
"Skills for Logistics has enabled us to have a greater say because they are an embodiment of ourselves as an industry. Our people are our greatest strength so if I'm looking for one great outcome from the Sector Skills Agreement it will be a framework that allows the development of our people."
More Sector Skills Agreements are in the pipeline. It's expected that by 2008, around 85% of the Welsh workforce will be covered.
The participating Sector Skills Councils are:
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