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Local Skills Improvement Plan aims to put employers at the heart of the system

LOCAL Skills Improvement Plans were introduced as a key part of the government’s vision of an adult skills system where businesses are given a much stronger voice in local skills planning. Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire Chambers of Commerce are working together as the designated lead for the development of the region’s LSIP.

The aim of the LSIP is to place employers at the heart of the skills system and the Chamber’s role will be to consult with employers, training providers and other stakeholders to articulate their skills needs.

Employer opinions are a cornerstone of LSIPs, which will be made into statutory requirements to shape skills provision over the next three years.

As way of a background, the government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper set out an employer-led approach aimed at making Post-16 Further Education provision more responsive to local skills needs and ultimately local economic needs.

As part of this new approach, the Chambers of Commerce in our region have been asked by the Department for Education to work in partnership with a range of stakeholders to develop the local LSIP,  with the intention of giving employers a stronger voice in shaping local skills provision through closer working with FE providers, engaging effectively with local leaders and other stakeholders and forging a stronger and more dynamic partnership between employers and FE providers that will enable provision to be more responsive to skills needs of employers in local labour markets.

LSIPs will do this by providing a clear articulation of future skills need and setting out the priorities for change in local provision that will help people develop the skills they need to get good jobs and increase prospects.

Louise Wall pictured left, chief executive of Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes Chambers of Commerce, says: “Government recognises that employers know what is needed for their businesses and, through the Local Skills Improvement Plan, the Chambers across our region will be diligently gathering the information and then presenting a ‘living’ report that identifies the true needs of employers and maps out a plan that can deliver the skills provision that businesses require.

“We also have great links with our education providers, trade bodies and local authorities so it is exciting to be working with them on the LSIP and to be speaking to businesses of all sizes and sectors on what their skills needs are.”

The Chambers are inviting organisations from all sectors to share their views on the current and future skills landscape in our region. The Chambers want to hear from as many employers and stakeholders as possible. “Your opinions will help shape our region’s future skills provision,” says Louise.

If your business has had challenges upskilling your current workforce; or you simply have ideas about how employers and training providers can work collaboratively; this is your chance to share your experience and help generate positive change.

To have your voice is heard, scan the QR code to complete the online survey.


‘We are looking forward to doing great things… These LSIP meetings are an important part of that work’

THE Bedford College Group has hosted a series of Local Skills Improvement Plan events run by the Chambers of Commerce in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

The chair of The Bedford College Group board of governors Allan Schofield and Bedfordshire Chamber’s chair Richard Cooper pictured above, main picture joined local business owners in sharing ideas at a forum hosted by Central Bedfordshire College in Dunstable.

Mr Schofield left said: “We need to take a long-term view of how we strategically develop the skills needed for the future.”

Gina Bubbins , director of business development at the Bedford College Group, said: “We are looking forward to doing great things here in Central Beds with employers and these LSIP meetings are an important part of that work.”

From these meetings information will be channelled to the Department for Education to shape plans for future funding. So far 2,000 comments have been collected from employers across the SEMLEP region of Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

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