west midlands ict specialist provider network terms of reference

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					West Midlands ICT Specialist Provider Network
Purpose    To drive forward the Regional Skills Strategy for ICT. To implement and deliver Regional Sector Skills Agreements and Skills Balance Sheet recommendations. To act as the key communication route between the LSC, training providers, Sector Skills Councils/Skills Academies and other Stakeholders To provide a platform for communicating with employers and employer bodies ensuring skills needs are understood and met. To develop collaborative ways of working between providers in order to meet regional skills priorities and demand from employers and individuals and contribute to sustainable economic development. To be a forum for sharing data and market intelligence from providers and employer representative bodies which will influence the mix and balance of provision in the region and expose and eliminate spatial gaps in provision. To support the regional review process, commissioning plan and influence the regional skills strategy To influence the Regional Capital Investment Strategy To agree a common marketing strategy to communicate the LSC “Offer” to employers and be a channel of communication to Delivery Networks (eg Technology Corridors, Regeneration Zones, Lifelong Learning networks, Brokers and Stakeholders). To identify and initiate new projects and initiatives that lead to increased provider capacity and capability and generate improvements in employer engagement. To share good practice and support the implementation of Train to Gain and the new Employer Responsiveness Standard (ERS) amongst all providers in the sector.

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Initially Training Provider membership will be based on Cove status and Local LSC recommendation to ensure geographical coverage. Subsequent and ongoing representation will be determined by meeting defined quality standards (Minimum performance levels, success rates and achievement of the new Standard (ERS)), Composition West Midlands LSC. Regional LSC Skills Academy Sector Skills Councils Area Director Regional Skills Development Director Head of Regional Spoke To fit Sector foot print

CoVEs and Specialist Provider network To include FE, WBL and Train to Gain providers Other Advisory service West Midlands Brokerage Service Higher Education Institutes Senior Management Representative

Senior Management Representative

By invitation

Frequency of meetings It is anticipated that the Specialist Provider Network will meet six times a year and will be linked to the LSC Business Cycle.

Role of Members 1) Chair (LSC Area Director) 

To act as link between Specialist Provider Network and the Regional Management Group/Regional LSCs/ Local Employment and Skills Boards.


To ensure integration of regional and sub regional priorities for the sector

2) Skills Academy/Sector Skills Councils       To represent the views from employers within their footprint To provide demand side data and intelligence To work with Network members in the development of new curricula To advise on priority qualifications To advise on quality of provision, delivery and employer engagement To act as ambassadors to their employer groups and other stakeholders on behalf of the network

3) CoVEs and Specialist Providers   To represent the views of their respective CoVE employer groups and make them aware of the work of the Specialist Provider Network To represent and provide feedback to other colleges and providers within their local networks/consortia on delivery and quality improvement. Lead CoVEs will work with their local partners to integrate provision, co ordinate delivery, make more effective use of resources, raise quality and improve employer engagement. They will also seek to improve collaboration between providers at both local and regional level To support local data on employer need by amending and improving Development Plans, particularly focusing on qualifications highlighted as priorities by the SSCs. To participate in new curricula development by working with Skills Academies/SSCs To communicate the LSC Offer (Train to Gain) to employers and other stakeholders. To establish and maintain progression routes with schools and HEIs


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4) Business Advisory Services/ West Midlands Brokerage Service  To act as link between Specialist Providers, Skills Academies/SSCs and Skills Brokers.


To maintain a coherent approach to business support and people development

5) LSC Regional Skills Team      Link the work of the Specialist Provider Network with the LSC Business Cycle. Communicate and act upon the Sector Intelligence Plan Provide advice and guidance on National and Regional Skills Priorities through linkages with the LSC Regional Skills Board and the Regional Skills Partnership Provide links with AWM Cluster groups Provide secretarial support to the group Provide Train to Gain Sector intelligence

6) Business/ Employer engagement It is essential that a dialogue takes place between the Specialist Provider network and employers to ensure that supply meets demand. The network will need to agree the most appropriate mechanism for the sector but is likely to include;     The production of the skills balance sheet and related research activities Discussions with Employment and Skills Boards Feedback from Train to Gain interventions and other services to employers Regular consultations with employer groups, Clusters, Cove networks etc

LSC Business Cycle Meetings of the Specialist Provider Network will be aligned to assist with the LSC business planning process. (See Appendix 1)


Typical work schedule for Year 1 Nov 2006-January 2007 Terms of Reference agreed Sector Intelligence Plan/ Skills Balance sheet prepared      Skills Academy/SSC to confirm validity of data Skills balance sheet, Sector plan disseminated to employer groups. Employer feedback collected Specialist Providers to start to prepare collaborative implementation plans with regional and local delivery networks Capacity and capability issues identified Mix and balance of provision/priority qualifications reviewed and actions agreed

February 2007 Providers to progress Implementation Plans taking into consideration feedback from employers to data. Begin process of scoping of LSC Offer to Employers Consider marketing strategy Providers to consider their plans for tendering for additional provision March 2007 Draft Implementation Plans agreed Test LSC Offer with employers Marketing strategy agreed

Draft 2 (20/12/06) April 2007 Final Implementation Plan agreed Review process agreed Marketing strategy implemented June 2007 Providers report progress on Implementation Plan Review of marketing strategy September 2007 Review process implemented Make arrangements for employer response to LSC Offer LSC/Skills Academy/SSCs report progress on Skills Balance Sheet Network members to provide data for new Sector Intelligence Plan November 2007 Skills Balance Sheet agreed by LSC/Skills Academy/SSCs Progress on Sector Intelligence Plan Providers report on Implementation Plan

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