Skills Advisory Panel

The Skills Advisory Panel was launched in 2019 and marks a evolution and acceleration of skills and employment activity within the Heart of the South West. The SAP has provided an opportunity for local partners commitment to working together to advance skills delivery and achievement, and to align behind key opportunities and needs. The Heart of the South West Local Skills Report was launched on 31 March 2021.

The Skills Advisory Panel supersedes the HotSW People Leadership Group , which was formed in 2014, brought together public, private and business representative to agree shared skills and employment objectives for the area’s Strategic Investment Plan, and direct the emerging European Social Fund and FE Capital Programmes. With partners active in developing and implementing a range of programmes and shared projects across the area.

The Role and Purpose of the panel

  • Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) help Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) fulfil their local leadership role in the skills system by helping them understand their current and future skills needs and labour market challenges. Local partnerships aim to strengthen the link between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities. They reflect the geography of the Local Industrial Strategies and are led by the local body leading on the area’s Local Industrial Strategy.
  •  Joint working and collaboration on skills matters between business, providers and public sector partners, with extensive experience in taking forward shared projects and ambitions around skills and employment matters.


Skills blueprint

Terms of Reference

Download Terms of Reference document here >

Membership list

Download list of members of the Skills Advisory Panel here >

Declaration of interest

Coming soon

Queries for this group

Please contact

Research reports

A number of research reports have been produced and commissioned by the LEP and our partners.  To view the reports, please click here.

Meeting documentation

2023 Meetings

2022 Meetings

2021 Meetings

2020 Meetings

2019 Meetings


Send us a message

    David Ralph

    Chief Executive

    David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP at the beginning of June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 where he oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with HM Government to deliver a £1billion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS2 East Midlands hub. He was also closely involved in the proposed North Midlands Devolution Deal and one of the key architects in establishing the Midlands Engine, chairing the officer steering group. Whilst in this role David was a NED of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, and Marketing NG, the Outer Estates Foundation and a Governor of Nottingham College and on the advisory Board of Nottingham Business School.

    Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex and prior to that was Chief Exec of the Barton Hill New Deal for Communities programme in Bristol and the Nelm Development Trust in Norwich.

    David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.