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Ufi and NTOs join forces on workforce development

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The National Training Organisation National Council (NTO National Council), which represents the UK’s National Training Organisation (NTO) network, and the University for Industry (Ufi), which is creating the learndirect e-learning network, have agreed an approach to joint working which puts the individual at the heart of workforce development. Ufi and NTO National Council both have as part of their remit from government a priority to develop solutions to skills shortages which mean that six million UK adults have no formal qualifications.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Sheffield by Ufi Chief Executive Ann Limb and NTO National Council Chief Executive Andy Powell. Under the terms of the Memorandum, the two organisations undertake to work together on developing their information and advice services on training and careers, using technologies that will make the services more easily accessible to those in work, and to those starting work or seeking a change in career.

The Memorandum of Understanding also outlines proposals for collaboration on the development of learning materials and resources, and confirms the commitment of the two organisations to establish innovative ways of linking national qualifications to work-related learning and employers’ skills needs. NTO National Council will input key intelligence into Ufi’s work in addressing sector-specific training needs, through the Workforce Development Plans currently being drafted by individual NTOs.

Commenting on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Ann Limb, Chief Executive of Ufi said: “Ufi and NTOs share the priority of workforce development through stimulating demand for lifelong learning. It is important that individuals have confidence in the reliability and comprehensiveness of information provision, and the assurance that advice is properly geared to the needs of different industries. Equally, employers need to know that their employees and future recruits are taking up opportunities for learning which are focused on the needs of their industries. The closer integration between Ufi, with its focus on the individual learner, and NTOs, with their strong links with employers in specific sectors, will work to the benefit of both groups.”

Andy Powell, Chief Executive of NTO National Council said: “Gearing learning and advice to the needs of employers and individuals is critical to increasing individual prosperity, business success and UK productivity. These challenges are fundamentally linked and are central to the vision and partnership of Ufi and NTOs. This collaboration between Ufi, with its experience in serving the needs of individual learners, and NTOs, with their expertise on the skills needs of employers in each UK industry and employment sector, provides a powerful basis for achieving this.”

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