Six business leaders sign up to help guide LEP’s skills service

Mr Ridgway leads the skills service of Leeds City Region LEP, which supports  business growth across Leeds City Region, including the Harrogate district.
Mr Ridgway leads the skills service of Leeds City Region LEP, which supports business growth across Leeds City Region, including the Harrogate district.
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the district will be able to access better business expertise following the addition of six new business leaders to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s skills and training service.

They join Mark Ridgway OBE DL in overseeing the LEP skills service, which is designed to support SMEs in Leeds City Region – an area including Wetherby and the Harrogate district – to upskill their staff and benefit from a £13.9m funding available for training and development.

The service has already been used by more than 100 busi-nesses to invest in training and more than 700 employees to develop their skills. The funding is available to eligible employers until spring 2017.

Julie Edmondson, owner of networking organisation the Met Club brings to the board particular expertise in event management and employer engagement.

Dan Conboy, director of Wakefield digital marketing agency Statement, is a founding member of Cognitiv, a creative industries group building relationships between businesses and education.

As co-owner of engineering consultancy Curtins Consulting, Neil Parkinson is well placed to represent manufacturing and engineering.

Graham Sweeney, operations director of law firm Schofield Sweeney, is an advocate of skills progression, having supported apprentices into permanent roles.

Alastair Kitching, CEO of Esteem Systems plc, has sat on the CBI Yorkshire and Humber Council for nine years and sees himself as a voice for SME technology companies.

Stephen Semple, regional managing director of Balfour Beatty, brings expertise of the low-carbon and construction industries.

Welcoming the new board members, Mr Ridgway said: “I am confident that their insight, first-hand experience and specialist sector knowledge will play a huge role in ensuring the success of the LEP skills service and in supporting employers poised for growth within the Leeds City Region to develop the skilled workforces needed to achieve their ambitions.”

The LEP is now looking for inspiring business leaders to represent the logistics and transport sector and the medical technologies sector on the skills service management board. To find out more, email skills@the-lep.com.