Guest post by Business West

It’s no secret that there’s a growing skills shortage in the West of England. To help address this lack of skills development, Skills West is a new service that has been set up by Business West. By bringing education and business closer together, Skills West aims to ensure businesses have access to developing talent.

As part of this, throughout April and May, education providers and employers will meet for a series of sector specific workshops hosted by Skills West, to address skills challenges and facilitate the development of the West of England Future Skills Plan.

This Future Skills Plan is vitally important because it is the West of England LEP’s blueprint for skills development in the region, which enables them to secure funds for education, training and apprenticeship programmes from central government.

Skills West and the West of England LEP are inviting employers to come and have their say in the development of the Future Skills Plan at a series of sector specific workshops.

The first workshop will cover professional and financial services, the largest sector in the West of England, both in terms of the total number of people employed and the GVA contributed to the local economy. Held at the Bristol Harbour Hotel on 26th April attendees will get the chance to feed into the West of England Professional & Financial Services future skills plan, learn from the experiences of leading sector employers, find out what business support is available from education and meet skills providers and businesses in the West of England.

Speaking about the event, Nicky Williams, Head of Skills West at Business West, commented:

“We have lots of major international and national companies choosing to be based in the West of England and a thriving ecosystem of professional SMEs. Their support in collaborating with education providers will be crucial to remaining competitive, creating opportunities and producing an agile workforce for the future. This is what our Future Skills events will help to achieve.”

Other sector specific Future Skills Workshops are being held during April and May 2017 to understand the skills challenges businesses in these sectors face and discuss the opportunities within each sector. The long term aim is to ensure high quality, relevant and cost effective skills provision that meets the needs of employers.

Places are limited, so click on your sector below to book your place today!

For more information on the Future Skills series of events and the Skills West service visit