Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has approved a new Skills Strategy, setting out a vision for how an effective skills system can drive aspiration and attainment and create a truly global and competitive City Region at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. The Strategy has been produced in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders from across the City Region, including input from 60 senior stakeholders through one-to-one interviews and contributions from 50 businesses as part of the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Insight Programme. Responses were also received from the Combined Authority’s constituent councils, employers, business groups, universities, colleges and training providers. Speaking about the strategy, Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said: “Our economy has performed well in recent years, creating significant numbers of jobs, and we have also seen an increase in skill levels. “We know, however, that those successes have not been enough to pull the City Region as a whole up to regional and national averages, and that improvements haven’t been uniformly shared across our communities. “Ensuring that individuals and businesses have the right skills to compete and succeed in the 21st century is vital if we are to achieve our aim of becoming a globally-competitive City Region at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. “This strategy sets out a high-level vision for how we can reform our skills system to meet that goal. The associated action plan, currently being developed by our Employment and Skills Board, will set out the concrete steps we need to deliver the strategy’s ambitious objectives.” Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council and Portfolio Lead, Skills and Apprenticeships, said: “This ambitious strategy builds upon our collaborative work to date, and sets out how we need to work together to achieve the vision. Building on such strong relationships and effective practice will enable us to deliver the skills that businesses need as part of a more inclusive economy.” Key outcomes identified in the strategy include: Higher proportion (particularly for 16-18s) of people with good attainment in English, Maths and Information Technology attainment and work readiness Higher proportion of working age population employed with good quality jobs making up a higher proportion of all jobs Higher productivity and lower incidence of skills shortages across growth sectors More effective workforce and fewer local recruitment difficulties across all sectors Employers investing significantly more in the quality and quantity of the skills of their workforce Much simpler systems and more joined up support processes, driven by strategic use of funding The strategy sets out a performance framework which details the measures against which the success of these outcomes will be monitored.