Skills East Sussex (SES)

Skills East Sussex (SES) is the county’s strategic body for employment and skills. The group aims to improve local employment and skills levels to increase economic prosperity in East Sussex. Skills East Sussex uses a firm evidence base to agree and set priorities. The group provides direction for the county’s approach to employment and skills.

SES has agreed the following six strategic priorities for 2021-2030:

  • Priority 1: Ensuring that national policy and funding supports the delivery of learning and skills in East Sussex
  • Priority 2: Enabling our Further Education (FE)/Higher Education (HE) establishments to recruit excellent educators with specialist technical knowledge
  • Priority 3: Improving our digital skills and digital inclusion
  • Priority 4: Upskilling our workforce to increase regional productivity
  • Priority 5: Supporting the unemployed and unqualified
  • Priority 6: Skills for a Net Zero future

SES has identified six priority sectors within the county. Work on the priorities is taken forward through the sector task groups. There are sector based Task Groups for the following:

  • Construction and Civil Engineering
  • Creative, Cultural, Digital and Media
  • Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Health and Social Care
  • Visitor and Cultural Economy
  • Land, Agriculture and Environmental

Read about the work of the Skills East Sussex sector task groups.

Skills East Sussex also has working groups looking at key areas across all employment and skills sectors. These are:

  • Apprenticeships East Sussex
  • Adult Learning Network
  • Net Zero

More information on apprenticeships, including support for businesses, can be found at Apprenticeships East Sussex.

Board members

The Board includes several leading figures from employment and education in East Sussex. These include:

  • The Chair, Diana Garnham
  • Chief Executive of East Sussex County Council, Becky Shaw
  • Two County Councillors
  • Senior Managers from the county’s post-16 colleges
  • Senior Managers from the University of Brighton
  • Local employers representing different sectors in the county

Chair of Skills East Sussex – Diana Garnham

Diana was CEO of the Science Council until 2015. She introduced professional registration for scientists at Chartered, Registered and Technician levels. She also developed a science and maths careers campaign and a programme to improve diversity in science employment.

She supports activities to widen participation in STEM and to increase the work readiness for students from further education (FE) and higher education (HE). She is an independent member of the Construction Industry Training Board. She is President of the King’s College London Alumni Association. She is Chair of the university’s Alumni Advisory Group. Until October 2019 she was a governor of East Sussex College Group. She had previously been on the corporation of Sussex Coast College. She is now an Enterprise Adviser at the Hastings campus of the East Sussex College Group. This is a very important role within the East Sussex Careers Hub.

The University of Leicester awarded Diana with an honorary Doctorate of Laws for services to science and society in 2013. She is a Freeman of the City of London for her work on science careers. In February 2017, the University of Brighton awarded Diana with an honorary Doctorate of Science for her work on diversity in science.

Chair, Diana Garnham
Chair, Diana Garnham