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Learning and skills

North Kent accounts for around 45% of the working age population in Kent and Medway and around 323,000 jobs in over 31,000 businesses. It makes up a major part of the region’s economy, but lags behind national and regional averages for residents’ skills attainment, particularly at higher levels (NVQ4+). This limits both the region’s productivity and individuals’ ability to realise their potential.

Graphics student at North Kent College

Greater North Kent is exploring how to help residents and employers navigate complex systems to get on the right pathways to build higher workforce skills and support growth, particularly in sectors where North Kent has competitive strengths and in emerging areas such as the green economy.

Areas of activity include:

  • Strengthening the evidence base: commissioning an updated Workforce Skills Evidence Base looking in more depth at the North Kent economy and potential actions to help raise skills attainment. Our report was published on 4 March 2022 (see Resources).

  • Engaging with and helping shape the Local Skills Improvement Plan and Skills Accelerator Development Fund projects.

  • Developing an action plan based on the Workforce Skills Evidence Base and engagement with stakeholders.

  • Exploring the linkage with major projects coming forward in North Kent (see under ‘Infrastructure’ priority) and particularly the construction skills implications and opportunities.

  • Exploring the potential for collaboration across North Kent in the design of initiatives under the ‘People and Skills’ element of UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment plans in North Kent.

  • Exploring solutions to overcome shortages in key professions, particularly among local authority partners, that are constraining service delivery and economic growth opportunities; and considering partners’ own role as local employers and apprenticeship offering.