Weekly Digest - 13 December 2016
Dear <<First Name>>
Christmas is fast upon us and this will be the last Digest of 2016....where did the year go? 2016 has certainly been eventful, both at home, with the summer referendum result sending shock waves across the country, over the Channel and into Europe and beyond, and on the world stage with 'The Donald' taking America by surprise - President-Elect Trump - not something you might have thought possible at the start of the year.
The changes that have taken place over the year have certainly impacted on our economy, and our future strategies as a nation - I think you will agree that the UK received a seismic jolt back in July and that a lot of uncertainly still abounds around what Brexit will mean for us - and in fact what type of Brexit we will be able to negotiate - hard, soft, red, white & blue?
However, change can be viewed as a positive - it gets people thinking differently, becoming more creative and having to use greater innovation through necessity - if the UK is set on a solo course as a world trader, it will need to ensure that it has access to the skills and labour it needs to compete effectively across the globe.
We know that further changes are coming in 2017 ... especially around Brexit and the Apprenticeship Reforms and the impact the Reforms may have on the numbers of employers engaging with apprenticeship training, the amount of available funding to support growth in apprenticeship numbers, and the potential reduction in opportunities at Level 2 due to the funding cuts at these lower levels. Time will tell if the Reforms will help or hinder the government's wished for 3m Apprenticeships by 2020...
Our sector, however, plays a pivotal role in supporting the economy - driving up skills and ensuring that local markets are serviced with high quality, appropriate and relevant education and training to support greater economic stability and wealth creation, therefore I know that our sector will continue to provide exceptional service and provision to the employers and industries across our region, even if you are having to do so using ever greater creative and innovative methods.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support since I took over the reins of the Network in June - it has been a great six months and I am looking forward to taking the Network into its next phase in 2017!
Have a wonderful Christmas and Best Wishes for 2017