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Improve Your Skills In West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland

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7:43am 16th September 2014
(Updated 7:44am 16th September 2014)

A plan has been launched to improve the skills of people in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

The Workforce Skills Plan 2014-2017 has been drawn-up by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council to help boost economic prosperity.

It aims to improve the skills of people who are in work, those who are currently unemployed and young people who will be entering the work force in the future.

Ray Nowak, Economic Development Brief Holder for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: "Working to improve our local economy and boosting prosperity in our borough is a top priority. This plan sets out how we can do this by finding new ways of improving the skills of our local workforce."

Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: "The Workforce Skills Plan will help our communities prepare for the future needs of our local economy, which will help bring greater prosperity to our area. Crucially this plan will help further bridge the gap between education and employment.

Our current, future and unemployed workforce should all see significant improvements in the services, training opportunities and information on offer."

The councils have been working with the Employment and Skills Board, as part of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and with Dorset colleges, schools and other training providers to set out how to improve training opportunities. Plans include:

- Extending apprenticeship schemes
- Increasing online training opportunities
- Arranging more student workshops at local businesses
- Improving the Careers College, partly by providing better online information

The Careers College is an independently funded event which offers more than 60 workshops, some in trades like building or plumbing, to 2,500 Year 9 and 10 students (13 to 15-year-olds).    

Increasing the number of apprenticeships helps improve the skills of the local workforce and also encourages skilled people to stay in the area, as research shows about 70 per cent of apprentices remain with the employer that trained them.    
Careful analysis of the local job market, economy, employment figures and deprivation levels were carried out before the Workforce Skills Plan was drawn-up. More information and a copy of the plan is available online at:

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