Skills sector development agency

Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs)

What are Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs)?

Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) are fundamentally altering the way skills are demanded, delivered and developed throughout the UK.

They map out exactly what skills employers need their workforce to have and how these skills will be supplied – both now and in the future.

Put simply, they are about getting the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.

SSAs are facilitated by the network of employer-led Sector Skills Councils (SSCs), but are signed up to by everyone who supplies, funds and plans education and training.

back to top How are they created? Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) are created by a process which involves a number of partners including employers through their Sector Skills Councils, trade associations and employer bodies, and organisations that supply and fund education and training.

There are five stages to the process:

Stage 1

A sophisticated assessment is made of each sector to determine short-term, medium-term and long-term skills needs and to map out the factors for change in the sector.

Stage 2

Current training provision across all levels is reviewed to measure its range, nature and employer relevance.

Stage 3

The main gaps and weaknesses in workforce development are analysed and priorities are agreed.

Stage 4

A review is conducted into the scope for collaborative action – engaging employers to invest in skills development to support improved business performance – and an assessment is made into what employers are likely to sign up to.

Stage 5

The final outcome is an agreement of how the SSC and employers will work with key funding partners to secure the necessary supply of training.

Who is involved in the process?

Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) are brokered by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in partnership with:

Key delivery partners include:

Wales and connexions


Further information To view a more detailed leaflet about Sector Skills Agreements, click here.

For specific enquiries, please contact the Sector Skills Agreements team at the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) on 01709 765 444.