Business Talk: Employers Driving Local Skills Provision

Business Talk: Employers Driving Local Skills Provision

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEEA) has been appointed by the Department for Education to lead the development of a new Local Skills Improvement Plan for the North East.

The North East LSIP is focussed on the skills requirements of businesses located in Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside and County Durham.

The NEAA will be working with businesses, education and training providers, key stakeholders and cross-sector Employer Representative Bodies to develop a plan which meets future business needs, provides a resilient and responsive supply of the skills needed to drive economic success and investment in the region.

In this Business Talk, Paul explained what this means for businesses and how to get involved.

The first phase of this work will focus on five core sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Digital
  • Health and life science
  • Transport and logistics

Paul was joined by Kevin Howell, Chief Executive of South Tyneside based HTG, and David Hutchinson from the HR team at Nissan. Both provided an overview of their sectors, skills requirements and how new technologies, digitalisation, and the pursuit of Net Zero may impact their future workforce requirements.

HTG is a leading IT outsourcing consultancy and Microsoft Cloud Specialist Partner, helping clients use cloud technology to solve business problems through modern workplace solutions and managed IT services. The company was recently listed in the Ward Hadaway top 50 fastest growing businesses in the North East region. 

David Hutchinson discussed Nissan’s EV36Zero – a £1bn electric vehicle hub, which heralds the next phase of Nissan’s electrification plan that will accelerates the company’s journey to carbon neutrality. David discussed the many opportunities this brings, the skills this demands for the future and some of the work already underway to engage, attract and retain a robust pipeline of such skills.

Paul discussed the ways businesses can input their views and feedback over the coming months.

There will be a statutory duty for providers to align provision to this LSIP, and Paul will set out how the NEAA will be working closely with local colleges, universities, and training providers to align provision with future business needs.

Paul Butler, CEO North East Automotive Alliance

Paul Butler has led the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) as Chief Executive Officer since its launch in March 2015. Today, with over 330 member companies it is the leading automotive cluster in the UK and provides members with an unparallel collaborative network where companies find benefit from leadership and co-ordination of activities of mutual benefit.

Today, there are 8 industry led working groups covering 5 thematic areas including Business Resilience, Skills, Innovation & Technology, Trade and Network & Connectivity. The NEAA has also delivered £18m of Government funded programmes including the DfE funded North East Local Skills Improvement Plan, DCMS funded 5G Connected & Automated Logistics project and the ERDF (MHCLG) funded Supply Chain North East programme.

Paul represents the regions automotive sector on the Automotive Council Skills Group, Supply Chain Group and Digital Group, the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board and Skills Advisory Panel, a member of the BEIS External Expert Supply Chain Group and is a board member of the European Automotive Clusters Network, and lead for the I4.0 working group. Paul is also the only UK based Cluster Benchmarking Expert for the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA).

Paul has extensive knowledge of the business support environment at both regional, national and international level, and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Durham.

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