Report Segment: Skills Gaps
One of the main reasons given for a new energy skills centre is that it will provide courses which are not currently available in the region. Leaving aside numbers of delegates required for the moment, there is a simple question to ask: How many of these courses could be delivered by existing training providers? The answer is most if not all of them – as long as certain equipment was made available. Indeed some providers have suggested that more than half of the courses could be delivered now if there were sufficient numbers to make it economic.
At the moment companies send their employees to training facilities out of the region (e.g. West Midlands; south coast; Humberside; Scotland). But local training providers are adamant that they could put on courses in the region if the number of delegates makes it economical. This isn’t a poor excuse for not running courses – its simple business sense. No provider should be putting on courses at a loss.
Creating a new skills centre is not in itself, a solution to this problem. A new skills centre could merely dilute provision – and lead to under-usage of existing resources. If quality of provision is the main issue then this can be addressed through other means than the creation of new physical space. Revolutionising delivery so that existing resources are optimised would be a much cheaper and more effective option to consider. In short, there seems to be a misunderstanding between the need to create training opportunities with the need for a new skills centre.