National Audit Office praises sector skills council

SummitSkills, the sector skills council for the building services engineering sector has been relicensed following an appraisal by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The assessment was undertaken on behalf of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) as part of the relicensing process that all 25 sector skills councils (SSCs) will undertake this year.

SummitSkills is one of four SSCs whose relicensing has been approved. The three other successful SSCs announced are Asset Skills, Energy & Utility Skills and e-skills UK.

Lord Mandelson, business, innovation & skills Secretary said: “Employers can be confident that the four SSCs relicensed, after tough assessments, will continue to provide them with top-notch service.”

SummitSkills’ achievements since its inception in 2003 include:

  • Producing an integrated set of national occupational standards common to all the industries within its sector
  • Developing new apprenticeship frameworks for the sector
  • Developing national occupational standards for environmental technologies
  • Upskilling over 62,000 installers in energy efficiency
  • Contributing to the development of diplomas in two areas for 14-19 year olds
  • Launching the Good Day campaign to promote careers in the sector

The NAO assessment of SummitSkills showed that the organisation has been making good progress against a number of key performance tests including employer engagement, partnership working, and visible and active presence in the English regions and devolved nations.

It reports that “the SSC is employer led, has the confidence and support of employers in its sector, and is a strategically and operationally effective organisation.”

Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills said: “With this endorsement from government and the UKCES, we will continue to work with and listen to employers to understand their business challenges and changing skills needs and, through this engagement and research, will continue to be the authoritative voice of the sector in defining future skill needs and priorities.

“We will also continue to promote environmental technologies, an area where we have received acknowledgement from UKCES. This is a strong area of potential for the sector to drive change, growth and recovery from the current economic downturn.”