Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is just one of just five areas in the UK chosen by the Government to pilot a new way of meeting the skills needs of local businesses.

Skills Advisory Panels are being created in five English regions to help identify and meet skills needs and employer demands at a local level.

They are part of a package of measures unveiled by Education Secretary Justine Greening at a recent Skills Summit in Whitehall as part of a Government drive to train the next generation of highly skilled workers and tackle the UK’s growing productivity gap.

The panel will be led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and include a cross-section of representatives from business and education to form what the Education Secretary called “a deep, strategic, mutually beneficial partnership between business and education."

Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “This is further recognition by Government of the pioneering work being done in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to tackle the skills and productivity gap.

“We already have a strong Employment and Skills Board that fosters close links between business and education, and we fund the Enterprise Adviser programme, sending real business people into local schools to teach children about career opportunities.

“We are also a beacon region when it comes to tackling unemployment among people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. Working with the Government’s Worth and Health Unit, we are blazing a trail by showing how local networks can support and encourage businesses to take people on with confidence and help them remain in work.

“We look forward to sharing our findings with Ministers and other regions of the UK. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are playing a major role shaping future Government policy around social mobility and equal opportunity.”