The Somerset Skills Forum

The Somerset Skills Forum supports the Somerset Employment and Skills Board (ESB) to achieve the following aim; as set out within its strategy:

  • Ensuring that businesses can access training provision that is delivered in the right way, at the right cost and of the right quality. 

The Forum is particularly concerned with developing Somerset’s Employment and Skills infrastructure; in order to realise the county’s ambition of becoming a higher-skilled, knowledge economy. 

The Forum provides the Board with regular updates regarding its activities and highlights any challenges that may affect its ability to contribute to achieving the above aim.  It also responds to direct requests for information and seeks to provide solutions to specific issues identified by the Board.

Working with and through the Board, the Forum has a key role in:

  • Knowing what skills and training solutions are sought by businesses in Somerset; communicating what is currently available and any challenges in meeting employer needs now and in the future.
  • Influencing and improving access to high-quality training that meets the needs of employers and learners, through the sharing and championing of good practice and open challenge of poor performance.
  • Collaborating to make best use of resources; avoid duplication and address gaps in training provision, particularly opportunities for progression to higher level qualifications.

Members of the Forum are drawn from the Colleges and Independent Training Providers that make up the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network; along with Somerset Schools and Voluntary and Community Learning Providers.

The Forum is currently chaired by Rod Davis of the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network.