Proskills gears up for success
ON 6 July Proskills, the new Government-backed skills and training organization for the process and manufacturing industries, was recommended to receive a licence to operate from the Education and Skills Secretary, Ruth Kelly. The decision is the culmination of a concerted effort from employers across the manufacturing sector and gives the official go-ahead to Proskills as a Sector Skills Council.
As a result of the decision, personnel from supporting organizations in the extractives, building products, print, coatings, and glass industries joined Proskills on 1 August. With experienced staff drawn from industry and a board made up of senior people from each of the five sectors, Proskills plans to: provide the authoritative voice of employers for the sectors’ training needs, define existing skills gaps, ascertain skills priorities and develop standards and qualifications.
‘Proskills offers employers in the processing and manufacturing industries a great opportunity,’ said chief executive officer Terry Watts. ‘By joining together these five industry sectors, which have much in common both demographically and in their regional spread, they will be stronger and more effective in their dealings with government. As a larger and unified organization, Proskills will be able to maximize government funding as well as benefiting from the economies of scale, both financially and organizationally.’
A major project to develop the content and method of delivery of apprenticeships for the extractives industry is currently being undertaken by Proskills. The project aims to create a refreshed apprenticeship structure for the industry to address the current major issue of skills shortages and unfilled job vacancies. The new apprenticeship model is expected to be in operation by early 2006.