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Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Skills Pledge initiative has been awarded the prestigious President’s Award by the National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE), the organisation that promotes lifelong learning.

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The President’s Award is the premier national accolade at the NIACE award ceremony, which takes place on Monday 15 June in London, during Adult Learning Week, and it is the first time that it has been awarded for the work of a regional organisation. Last year’s recipient was food service retailer McDonald’s Restaurants UK Limited.

Humber LEP launched its Skills Pledge in 2013. It’s aim is to promote the value of investing in skills and training and to demonstrate the significant benefits that such investment can bring to businesses, employees, the local community and economy.

Mike Parker, Vice Chair of the Humber LEP and Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Board who received the award on Monday said:

“Receiving this award is an honour and a great platform from which we can continue the work we are doing around skills and training with people of all age groups to help bridge the local skills gap.

“As a LEP, we are in a unique position to work in with employers, local councils, trainers and organisations like JobCentrePlus to develop clear plans that can help their local economies grow. Enabling continuous learning opportunities for local people is integral to those plans and through the Skills Pledge we are supporting businesses to become more competitive, more resilient and ready for economic change.


“The Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge has been widely welcomed by businesses as a single contact point for information about training and skills and offers guidance, advice, resources and related initiatives to support business growth.”


The Humber LEP Skills Pledge invites businesses to sign up to the following six individual pledges:

Of the 313 businesses in the Humber region which have signed up to the Skills Pledge since it was established two years ago:

  • 170 are investing in their workforce skills
  • 90 are mentoring a budding entrepreneur
  • 146 are offering work placements to young people or adults
  • 131 are offering apprenticeships or traineeships
  • 81 are employing a graduate
  • 156 are supporting employability skills

Nick Stuart CB, President of NIACE explained that the award was given to the Humber LEP because:

“The campaign is ambitious for the region and has shown positive impacts for adults, businesses and the local economy. The partnerships which support the campaign have been vital in encouraging businesses across the region to invest in skills and training to help them be more competitive, more resilient and ready to adapt to economic change.”

For more information about the NIACE President’s Award to the Humber LEP for its Skills Pledge work see YouTube


1          How employers are engaging with the Humber Skills Pledge

Hull based 360 Charter Accountants has signed up to all six pledges because as Managing Director Andy Steele says: ‘‘We are passionate about promoting and improving the region’’.  360 envisage that by being part of the Pledge it will help raise skill levels across the Humber. They have taken on four apprentices to date and mentor and offer work experience to local school pupils.

Agencia Consulting in Hull has signed up to two of the pledges and has supported two Masters students at the University of Hull by providing and supervising two projects. This will give the students real work experience and enhance their employment prospects.

The Crosby Employment Bureau in Scunthorpe has taken on two apprentices and employed 36 apprentices on behalf of other organisation since signing up to the Pledge .

Cofely Fabricom GDF SUEZ UK in North East Lincolnshire, a multi-disciplined engineering and design organisation in the energy market signed up to four Pledges and has since decided to employ and support two new female apprentices through to finalisation of their training in their chosen engineering trade.

The Press Association in Howden has recruited 12 apprentices, working in Finance, Customer Services, IT, HR and Sports Data. It has also expanded links with local schools and colleges and is  working with the new CREATE Studio school in Goole, mentoring students in the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship stream and helping to develop employability skills.

Margaret Hicks-Clarke, the Press Association’s Head of Operations and a member of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board, said: “We have signed up to the Humber Skills Pledge because we are committed to the region and its future growth and prosperity, which we see as closely aligned to our own. We have a fantastic pool of staff recruited from the local area. It is thanks to them that our business continues to thrive in spite of the considerable challenges facing the media.”

Since signing the pledge, East Coast Pictures in Grimsby has supported over 20 Work Experience placements for students from TV and film, Arts, Digital and Journalism courses on a range of filmed projects and productions. The company has also launched the careers of two of its Graduate employees into the mainstream TV and media Industry.

By signing the Humber Skills pledge, the company is signing up to support the growth of the region and their sector – a stronger digital, media and tech sector will mean East Coast Pictures benefits. The Pledge has being a great way for them to give broad structure to training and skills development and achieve measurable targets showing the positive steps in recruitment and training.