Business people in Portsmouth are being asked for their views on skills, as part of a major push to equip the next generation of local workers for the future.

Shaping Portsmouth, the business group that brings together companies and organisations from across the city, is asking employers to fill in a 10-minute online survey about skills and training.

Stef Nienaltowski, director of Shaping Portsmouth, said the survey was a vital project that would help change the way young people were prepared for work.

"We're working with local colleges, training providers, the university and the council on this very important issue.

"We're committed to changing the way we're preparing the next generation for the world of work.

"We need local business people to do this quick survey so we can better understand their skill needs now and in the future.

"We want to make sure we know exactly what Portsmouth businesses need, rather than use national data that might not reflect the local picture.

"Once we've identified the skill gaps the Portsmouth business community is experiencing, we can work on setting up courses that fill these gaps.

"We can help make sure that there are more highly-qualified local people available to work for businesses in the city, and fewer people without qualifications."

The survey is being run by Portsmouth City Council, a partner in Shaping Portsmouth, on behalf of the whole organisation. The survey has been funded with contributions from the council, the University of Portsmouth, Highbury College, Portsmouth College, Havant and South Downs College, PETA Training and Consultancy Services and HTP Apprenticeship College.

It asks employers about the skills their workforces have, or lack, and whether they struggle to fill particular vacancies.

It also asks for their views on apprenticeships, the educational system and training.

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