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Skills Update

The new Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

From 1st April, two new skills organisations: the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, a UK-wide organisation comprising all 25 Sector Skills Councils, and the Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), formally come into being.

Following the closure of the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) on 31st March, the Alliance will be the new voice of the Sector Skills Councils.

The Alliance’s role will be to present a cohesive network position on policy issues, and work closely with stakeholder partners to achieve the employer-led skills system outlined in the Leitch Review of Skills. The new body will also work to build the performance capacity of Sector Skills Councils and to support clustering and cross-sector collaboration.

The Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) will take responsibility for performance managing Sector Skills Councils, and making recommendations to Government on their re-licensing. But this will be just one part of the new UK Commission’s much broader advisory remit regarding the four nations’ employment and skills systems. That means that the UK Commission's relationship with SSCs will be different to that of the SSDA and the stage is now set for Sector Skills Councils to take full charge of their own destiny through the Alliance – a self-governing, self-supporting collective.

The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils will have offices in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To learn more about UKCES and its role within industry please visit

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