Playing a part in a local skills improvement plan

Some thoughts from our Events & Engagement Lead, Stephanie Danvers

The Skills for Jobs White Paper published in January set out the Government’s ambitions for reform of the technical skills system. These include a stronger role for employers (and for employer representative bodies such as Chambers of Commerce) in working with colleges, independent training providers and universities to ensure that technical education meets and drives demand for skills.

Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs), have been envisaged as employer-led, evidence-based assessments of skills needs to which providers will be able to respond. The Sussex Chamber of Commerce is one of just eight LSIPs trailblazers across England, and is producing a plan through consultation, data analysis and building on what is already working. 

The Sussex region has already got pockets and projects of brilliant business/education partnership – which it is why it has been appointed a trailblazer – but it isn’t as joined-up as it could be. Building on over six years of deep-dive work on the Sussex skills story, the always possible team has now been supporting Sussex Chamber to listen to technical educators, employers and business groups, to interrogate these local needs and solutions.

We have been ensuring that local businesses have a voice in the process , with support to engage with a more responsive local skills system – presented by the Chamber in a bold plan, submitted to government this March. The LSIP trailblazers’ overall purpose is to break down barriers between employers and education and skills providers by identifying the short, medium and long terms skills needs and in turn develop a more responsive local skills system. 

always possible was commissioned to work with existing data and ideas to gather insight into how local employers perceive the local skills landscape. We’ve been exploring whether there are gaps in evidence and data, building understanding of what businesses need to engage with a more responsive skills system.

We are working to increase engagement with the LSIP process from employers around the county and support employers to describe the issues and setting out specific actionable solutions to input into a roadmap and case for change.

We designed and facilitated six face to face workshops across Sussex as well as seven online workshops with key sector representatives from engineering and manufacturing, construction, creative & digital, visitor and cultural industries, land-based and health & care.

The Local Skills Improvement Plan Workshop

The Sussex LSIP will be submitted to the Department for Education, detailing a Future Skills Sussex improvement framework with short medium and long term skills needs. This will also factor in the importance of partnership and collaboration between Sussex businesses, education and skills providers. Listen to our podcasts and read some case studies of work by the always possible team on the UK’s mission for better alignment between the training on offer and the skills we need.

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