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Independent sector skills body launches

Independent sector skills body launches
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Independent sector skills body launches1

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 28 Oct 2008

The government has launched a third sector skills body which will address skills gaps in the voluntary sector and create new learning opportunities in these areas.

The Office of the Third Sector and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills will jointly fund the new skills body with £2.5m over the next three years. It will be independent and directed by a board representing the sector's employers.

The body will develop new national occupational standards, design apprenticeship frameworks and sector qualification strategies for identified skill gaps.

Minister for the third sector Kevin Brennan said: "This will put the third sector's skills needs on the same level as other sectors. Charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises deal with some of the most challenging social and environmental issues. Whether they are multi-million pound global operations or small community groups, having employees and volunteers with the right skills to get the job done is essential.

Research Centre opens at Birmingham Uni

Separately, the first Third Sector Research Centre launched last week at the University of Birmingham. It will be dedicated to analysing the impact of the sector's activities and provide hard evidence to support the work of third sector organisations.

The Centre will be led by Professor Pete Alcock, in a joint venture with the University of Southampton where Professor John Mohan (pictured) will be deputy director. It will get £10.25m over the next five years from the Economic and Social Research Council, Office of the Third Sector and the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

The Centre will also be supported by two capacity-building clusters based at the University of Middlesex and the University of Lincoln. The one in Middlesex will focus specifically on social enterprises.

The clusters will develop studentships, knowledge transfer partnerships, third sector placements and a voucher scheme designed to allow third sector organisations "buy in" academic expertise.

Richard Elliott
Carers
29 Oct 2008

I'm not sure who decides there is a skills gap, the size of the gap and in which skills area it exists. I think this is yet another excercise by the educated and plausible to rob the sector of cash which should benefit end users. I meet many in this middle tier who talk to each other and waste time and effort.

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