South Yorkshire Chambers to Deliver Local Skills Improvement Plan for the Region

South Yorkshire Chambers to Deliver Local Skills Improvement Plan for the Region

13:44 02 September in Business News, Chamber News

The three Chambers of Commerce for South Yorkshire are leading the development of a new Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) on behalf of the entire region.

With an ultimate aim of improving the area’s productivity, this project will ensure that skills providers can better meet the needs of employers, and that residents are equipped with the most sought-after skills required to prosper in the workplace.

Across all sectors in the UK, recruitment is proving to be a significant challenge right now. Many businesses are struggling to find suitable candidates who are capable of filling their outstanding vacancies, as there is currently a great disparity between the skills that people are offering and the skills that businesses actually need.

To address this issue, The Department of Education (DfE) is funding a total of 38 LSIPs that will give employers more input into their local skills systems. Connecting up various stakeholders – including colleges, universities, private training providers, businesses and government — these plans will help close the skills gap and ensure that more relevant training opportunities are available to adults, so that they can qualify for jobs in their area.

Earlier this year, South Yorkshire served as one of just eight LSIP trailblazers and used the learning from this experience to produce an innovative People & Skills Manifesto, which itself laid out over 40 practical recommendations for creating an improved skills strategy for our region.

Following on from that successful project, South Yorkshire will now be delivering a full LSIP, with the three regional Chambers of Commerce (for Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley & Rotherham) leading the way on the important work. Together, these organisations will be collaborating with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), SY Colleges Group, universities, private training providers, other employer groups and a range of local businesses.

Reflecting on the news, Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber, said: “We know that the skills gap is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses right now, as not having access to the best people can cause plans to delay and growth to stagnate. By developing an LSIP, South Yorkshire will be primed to align its skills system with the needs of employers and to help people access rewarding careers in South Yorkshire.

Dan Fell, Chief Executive of Doncaster Chamber said: “Naturally, this will demand a holistic and collegiate approach on our part. We will need to engage with firms, education providers and a variety of other key stakeholders. Fortunately, the South Yorkshire Chambers are well positioned to lead on this research work, as we are able to connect all of these disparate parties together and get them talking to one other.  We need to get to a point where South Yorkshire does skills planning once and well, as opposed to multiple organisations each producing their own version of a similar strategy.  We must also move beyond planning to swift and effective implementation; businesses are struggling now and, as such, we intend for our LSIP to have real time as well as long-term benefit.

Echoing these sentiments, Alexis Krachai, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber, added: “A lot of emphasis has been placed on creating a more agile skills system in South Yorkshire, as seen most recently by the launch of our People & Skills Manifesto in May. The LSIP will continue to build upon this important work and will ensure that the voice of our business community is at the very heart of all discussions.

“On that note, we are keen to hear the views of employers in the region, so that we can better understand the obstacles they are facing and what they’d like to see from the provision of skills training. A briefing event will be held in the near future, where attendees will be able to ask questions, raise concerns and let us know what our top priorities should be.

“We will communicate more information about this in the near future but, until then, I urge businesses to get in touch with their local Chamber if they want to get involved with the LSIP development.”

All of the newly announced LSIPs will be submitted to the Secretary of State by May 2023. The South Yorkshire People & Skills Manifesto can be read in full here.

Kieran Bridges
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