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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
David Laister

Strategic skills hub sought as LEP legacy in Hull and East Yorkshire

Proposals to ensure skills strategy remains a key priority for Hull and East Yorkshire as local enterprise partnership funding is withdrawn are emerging.

A hub with core staff maintained is being mooted, as the local authorities prepare for changes announced in the last Budget. Government flagged its intention to end support for the organisations, which have provided links between the public and private sector, from April 2024. The plan is to absord into local authorities.

Both Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire councils currently provide financial backing to the LEP, of £50,000 each per annum, to use as match-funding to draw down from Government Core Funding.

Read more: East Riding councillors back move to explore business-backed devolution deal with Hull

In previous years, it was £500,000 per year, which was reduced to £375,000 for 2022-23 and further cut to £250,000 for the year 2023-2024.

Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, said: “Supporting the local economy with the skills needed to help businesses thrive is vitally important. The government announcements on changes to the local enterprise partnerships requires the council to pick up important strands of work, particularly around skills.

Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council. (Neil Holmes)

“Hull has its challenges with skills levels and employment which the council has long-term commitments to address and, since so many residents either live in Hull or the East Riding and work in the other, it is also important to do so jointly with our neighbours at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

“Making sure the business community has the confidence that this regional skills policy reflects its needs, rather than that determined by commercial providers or central government is essential.”

It comes as both embark on a devolution deal involving combined authority status. Hull and East Yorkshire LEP was seen as a must in the absence of that, following the wider Humber loss when the South Bank authorities opted to embed themselves in Greater Lincolnshire.

Proposals are to be shared with Hull City Council’s Cabinet.

The decarbonisation agenda has heightened skills awareness, with huge numbers of technical roles and trades set to be required to deliver on Net Zero lead ambition.

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