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Paper 10 - 24 November 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

24 November 2000

HAMPSHIRE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE AND PROGRESS

Report by the Chief Executive, Rushmoor Borough Council

HEP held its annual conference on 10th October when over 120 local authority and business representatives debated the theme "Connecting Skills with Hampshire’s Economic Needs". The conference acknowledged the importance of Lifelong Learning in the development of a multi-skilled workforce in the Hampshire area. The keynote presentation was by Penny Melville-Brown, Chair Designate of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Learning and Skills Council, (LLSC). Penny emphasised how dependent Hampshire would be on the skills of the entire workforce, not just those of young people entering the labour market. She emphasised that the Hampshire economy must compete on high value skills, not on the basis of a low cost workforce and that the LLSC will be committed to satisfying the skills requirements of business whilst enhancing the life chances of young people and adults.

HEP Chairman, Bryan Davies, drew to the attention of the conference HEP’s commitment to building a knowledge based economy which was illustrated by the proposed establishment of the Southampton Innovation Hub based around Chilworth.

David Saunders, Regional Director of GOSE, emphasised the important role that economic partnerships and HEP in particular, play in influencing government policy and taking forward the very important initiatives to help the economy of the Hampshire area.

Workshop sessions addressed development of a local and regional skills strategy; connecting skills in further and higher education with the needs of business; the importance of business clusters to add value to business and skills development, and; how infrastructure can assist people’s skills and business needs.

John Gregory, Company Secretary, outlined the excellent work being undertaken by the task groups, including:

* Aerospace – winning a £200,000 lean manufacturing skills bid from SEEDA and a stand for 47 companies at the Farnborough International Air Show

* Defence – responding to the theme "Collaboration to Compete" through seminars and the launch of a database/network website for the whole of South East England

* Construction – promotion of the industry and the development of SEECON giving job opportunities for the long term unemployed

* Innovation – development of the Southampton Innovation Hub and the production of an innovation directory

* Marketing and Investment – encouraging schools to link more closely to business through the Hampshire Technology Showcase and the development of a Virtual European Network

* Research and Information – production of the Hampshire Research Directory and web site and an update of "Informing our Future"

* Rural Economy – part of a £700,000 Rural Towns Rural Lives project and development of a Rural Enterprise Hub concept

* Tourism – training programme for 95 unemployed people and 560 existing employees and an internet online tourist and travel information system

* Transportation – first county to have a sustainable distribution network and a freight transport quality partnership

The conference expressed its great appreciation for the tremendous support for HEP from the local authorities, both in the form of contribution and expertise. This support produces dramatic resource contributions from the private sector.

Last update: 23/11/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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