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Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership adds to skills team

Cumbria’s strategic economic body has appointed two sector skills managers to take forward key elements of the county’s skills investment plan.

Claire Dunn and Jon Power have joined the team at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. Their roles will entail strengthening links between training providers, higher education and local employers in the county’s higher growth sectors.

Jon has held a number of key strategic regional and local roles, including head of employer and delivery services at the Skills Funding Agency and stakeholder relationship posts with the Learning & Skills Council and Cumbria Connexions.

Claire brings 30 years of experience within the field of HR and learning and development, including workforce development and strategic advisory roles for a number of leading Cumbrian employers. She has also been involved in leading the Cumbria CIPD skills agenda.

Both Jon and Claire will be developing and working with specific sector groups within the local economy to understand their skills requirements, as well as liaising with education and skills providers to meet those needs. Claire will be focusing on nuclear, manufacturing, visitor economy and professional services sectors, and Jon will be focusing on logistics, construction, rural economy and health and social care sectors.

“Our aim is to ensure that the county has a vibrant skills, education and training system that is responsive to the needs of employers,” explains Jon. “We are also looking closely at how we tackle sector skills gaps in certain areas and working with employers and our responsive skills system to develop targeted training and support.”

Claire adds: “Both Jon and I are passionate about businesses having the right people with the right skills so that they can be successful. Cumbria LEP, local employers and skills providers are working closely to ensure we have the right learning environments and opportunities for the workforce. We want to boost skills and strengthen links between industry and training providers to provide the right workforce development support.”

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.

Head of Employment and Skills at Cumbria LEP Craig Ivison says: “These are two key appointments as we continue to work more closely with employers in key sectors, business organisations and the county’s network of education and skills providers to ensure that we nurture a highly skilled workforce.

“We welcome Jon and Claire to the team in the knowledge that they already have a wealth of experience and expertise in skills development.”

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