A GROUP of cities across the UK has agreed a partnership to deliver a range of initiatives to improve skills and training in Bradford.

Key Cities, a collaborations of 20 cities across the UK, has made the partnership with the Business Services Association.

The workshop sessions will take place in Bradford, as well as in Coventry and Southampton, and seminars will also be held focused on industrial strategies and business services, with a focus in skills development.

These seminars start this year, and have been arranged with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and other stakeholders.

Founded in 2013, Key Cities exists to promote mid-sized cities and urban areas as engines of economic opportunity and inclusive growth for the UK.

It also aims to ensure local areas across the UK are empowered to deliver greater opportunities and public services for residents.

The new agreement with the BSA represents a shared commitment to strengthening skills in the cities in which they operate, and the organisations will explore further areas for cooperation including on policy issues.

Peter Box CBE, chair of Key Cities, said: “The skills gap is one of the main barriers to improved productivity across industries throughout the UK.

“Fast-moving policy changes in this area, such as the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and the devolution agenda, as well as the implications of Brexit for future labour availability, make this a complex topic to address.

“The Key Cities members have identified current and future skills requirements as a priority issue across all our regions, and we’re looking forward to working closely with the BSA to help shape a skills system that works for communities, cities and industry now and in the future.”

Peter Campbell, director of corporate affairs at the BSA, added: “The skills businesses will need in the future is a vital issue for BSA members. This initiative is one way in which the sector can work with Place leaders to help put these skills in place.”