North East LEP seeks business people to form new Employment and Skills Board

The six-strong North East group will comprise leaders from the business, voluntary and community sectors

Andrew Hodgson and Anne Isherwood
Andrew Hodgson and Anne Isherwood

Business people from across the North East are being sought to help drive a skills and employment agenda.

Up to six employers are being sought by the North East LEP to represent regional business on the new Employment and Skills Board.

The board is due to launch in March – led by the North East LEP’s vice chair and SMD chief executive officer, Andrew Hodgson, and North East LEP board member and Sunderland College principal, Anne Isherwood.

Comprised of representatives from business, the voluntary and community sectors, the board will drive the North East LEP’s thinking on employability and skills and help to pursue its aim of creating “more and better jobs” as part of the wider North East Strategic Economic Plan.

The skills and employability programmes provide the framework for an investment of about £500m over the next six years into the local economy through the North East LEP from Government and European Union funding.

A substantial part of this investment aims to drive up skills achievements across all levels, from engaging with those who are traditionally hard to reach, through to ensuring graduates are equipped with appropriate skill sets for working in growing companies.

Anne Isherwood said: “We are seeking up to six ambitious representatives from the North East business, voluntary and community sectors who will offer energy, commitment, vision and business insight in their respective sectors.

“They must have strong experience in developing business operations and ambitions for growth in their businesses through understanding skills requirements and needs within industry sectors.”

Prospective board members will need to commit about nine days each year, for three years.

Andrew Hodgson said: “Specifically, we are aiming to ensure that North East businesses have access to appropriately skilled people who will participate and thrive in a competitive economy.

“We wish to appoint up to six leaders to represent employers – both private and voluntary sector – in the North East LEP area, who are able to champion and articulate the skills needs of businesses in the context of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.”

Recruitment for the Employment and Skills Board follows the formation of the North East LEP’s Business Support Board.

In December a team of eight regional business leaders – including representatives from the creative, law and manufacturing – formed the Board to guide the Strategic Economic Plan.

Businesspeople wishing to apply for the Employment and Skills Board posts should send a CV or up to date biography with a covering letter to

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on February 10.


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