Government praises Sector Skills Council

SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the building services engineering sector has been praised as a well run Sector Skills Council in the National Audit Office (NAO) assessment of its performance.  The assessment was undertaken on behalf of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) as part of the relicensing process that all 25 SSCs will undertake this year.

SummitSkills is one of four SSCs whose relicensing has been announced.  The organisation covers the industry groups of electrotechnical, heating and ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, plumbing and building services engineering consultancy. The three other successful SSCs announced already are Asset Skills, Energy & Utility Skills and e-skills UK.

Lord Mandelson, Business, Innovation & Skills Secretary said: “Employers can be confident that the four sector skills councils relicensed, after tough assessments, will continue to provide them with a top-notch service.”

The NAO assessment of SummitSkills showed that the organisation has been making good progress against a number of key performance tests including employer engagement, partnership working, and visible and active presence in the English regions and Devolved Nations.  It reports that: “The SSC is employer led, has the confidence and support of employers in its sector, and is a strategically and operationally effective organisation.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills said: “We are delighted to have received independent recognition of the work we have been doing to progress the skills base of our sector.  Since our formation in 2003 we have been working closely with employers, trade associations and other stakeholders to put in place programmes and systems that are of value to employers right across the broad spectrum of industries that we cover.

“Looking to the future, with this endorsement from government and the UKCES, we will continue to work with and listen to employers to understand their business challenges and changing skills needs and, through this engagement and research, will continue to be the authoritative voice of the sector in defining future skill needs and priorities.  We will also continue to promote environmental technologies, an area where we have received acknowledgement from UKCES.  This is a strong area of potential for the BSE sector to drive change, growth and recovery from the current economic downturn.”

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