Learning Light Explores Role of Higher-Level Skills

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<strong>Sheffield, England &mdash; Oct. 12 </strong><br />Learning Light (LL), a nonprofit center of excellence in the use of learning technologies in the workplace, sponsored the Sheffield and Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chambers of Commerce Members&rsquo; networking evening Oct. 9 at Chatsworth House. <br /><br />This networking event was followed by an exclusive LL dinner.  <br /><br />The event was part of Sheffield Business Week &mdash; five days of seminars and events for business owners, managers or employees, organized by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in association with Yorkshire&rsquo;s largest commercial radio station, Galaxy Yorkshire.<br /><br />The Chamber Members&rsquo; Evening and LL dinner event provided an ideal opportunity to focus on the regional higher-level skills agenda and the role of local businesses in helping to support its development.<br /><br />Discussion at the LL dinner focused on the outputs of Lord Leitch&rsquo;s review into skills levels in the United Kingdom and the report&rsquo;s potential impact on the region. <br /><br />The dinner event brought together key figures from the region, including Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of Sheffield City Council, and Paul Jagger, chairman of the South Yorkshire LSC, as well as senior representatives from both Sheffield universities, Yorkshire Forward, Creative Sheffield and local employers from the region. <br /><br />&ldquo;The findings of the Leitch Report are evident,&rdquo; LL CEO Mark Pittaway said. &ldquo;The report reveals that the U.K. will continue to fall behind other countries, both economically and socially, unless it becomes a world-class &lsquo;skills leader&rsquo; in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.&rdquo;<br /><br />Evidence from the Report and other sources suggests that “U.K. PLC” suffers from a weak skills base characterised by:<br /><br />Poor language and technical skills that lag behind those in the rest of Europe, along with India, Korea and China<br /><br />Relatively low exploitation of technologies for learning and development<br /><br />Poor vocational skills and entrenched resistance to reskilling and “up-skilling”<br /><br />About 50 percent adults struggle with numeracy<br /><br />&ldquo;Drastic action is needed where traditional approaches to &#39;up-skilling&#39; and training either don&rsquo;t work, won&rsquo;t work quickly enough and lack the innovation and effective use of technologies that&rsquo;s needed,&rdquo; Pittaway said.<br /><br />LL thinks focusing on regional skills growth could have a positive impact on the regeneration and growth of the region. <br /><br />&ldquo;We feel that we are in a unique position to support the region to design and implement Lord Leitch&#39;s recommendations over the next 10 to 12 years, through working with the region&rsquo;s learning and learning technology providers to use new innovative approaches toward enhanced skill development,&rdquo; Pittaway said.<br /><br />At a local level, LL supports regional learning technology companies to help them respond to market needs in the fast-growing learning technologies space, regional training companies to adopt new blended learning approaches and regional businesses to optimize learning technologies to manage learning and performance.<br /><br />LL also works with global organizations to improve business performance by designing and implementing integrated skills development programmes that are aligned to strategic business goals.

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