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Process Industries employers get behind academy

Date 21 Aug 2007

The National Skills Academy Process Industries (NSAPI) has received high levels of employer support as it approaches the end of its business planning stage.

Working with Cogent Sector Skills Council (Cogent SSC), NSAPI is an employer-led centre of excellence launched in response to the skills shortage within the Process Industries. It is on track to become a fully operational Academy in September now that the business plan has been successfully received by the Learning & Skills Council.

Working with employers to address the skills gaps in their workforce, NSAPI has already received over £1 million in support from more than 40 businesses eager to develop an improved training infrastructure across the UK. The Learning & Skills Council and various Regional Development Agencies will also make financial contributions.

NSAPI project director Craig Crowther said: “Through NSAPI we aim to work with employers to develop a sound training infrastructure and strong relations with training and educational bodies to create the globally competitive workforce the UK wants and needs.”

The NSAPI team will work with Process Industry employers and Cogent SSC with support from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) to create a 'Gold Standard' for the industry to use as a benchmark when measuring the progression of employees skills development within the Process Industries. With its main base situated in North East England, NSAPI will work on a national basis to help companies 'upskill' their current employees by working towards the Industry 'Gold Standard'. The main objective of the standard is to raise employer and employee aspirations to increase the accreditation of skills within the current workforce as well as integrating the skills development process for the Industries.

Employers getting behind the Academy include SembCorp Utilities UK, Invista Performance Technologies, Johnson Matthey, Innospec Specialty Chemicals, Banner Chemicals Ltd, Solutia UK Limited and Black Cat Fireworks Ltd. The Process Industries provide employment for close to 600,000 people throughout the UK, contributing £22 billion to the national economy. Including the key areas of chemicals, pharmaceutical manufacture, and polymer processing, the Process Industries help supply vital products such as medication and the construction materials for energy efficient living. A ministerial announcement regarding the approval of the Academy's business plan is anticipated during September 2007.

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