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Skills Councils herald new era

I fully support Tom Bewick's Viewpoint of November 7 ("We need leaders to transform skills"). It is vital that the new Sector Skills Council network forges forward with fresh leadership and a structure that embraces and uses employer contribution. Several of the new SSCs meet this requirement.

SummitSkills, the SSC for the building services engineering sector, is a prime example of such an organisation. Forming the new council has involved collaboration between the electrotechnical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration industries. It has gone from approval of its Expression of Interest to gaining its licence in under a year, a considerable feat.

Previously director of inspection (planning) with the Adult Learning Inspectorate, I have no recent background within the national training organisation network and was a newcomer to the SSC network in March.

My colleagues and I are keen to work with employers to improve skills and productivity across the sector.

Keith Marshall Chief executive

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