A comprehensive programme of consultation events has been revealed to allow business owners and leaders help form the brand-new Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which will shape the future of technical skills provision in the county.
The face-to-face and online events are being run by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the creation of the local skills plan on behalf of the Department of Education in partnership with East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
As part of the Chamber’s evidence gathering, its business engagement team is running consultation events across a range of skills areas including manufacturing, services, transport and distribution, energy and environmental, construction, internationalisation, digitisation, net zero, sales and marketing, and HR.
The CEO of the Chamber, Babs Murphy, is urging businesses not to miss out on this unique opportunity. She said:
“The involvement of the business community is key to the success of this project. Without the contribution of business leaders, owners and managers, we cannot truly represent the needs of local employers.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to ensure the technical courses provided by our local colleges match the needs of local employers.”
Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) were proposed as elements of the government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper, published in January 2021, which is now referred to as the Skills Accelerator. It also includes the Strategic Development Fund (SDF), a £65m investment to help colleges in the implement some of the strategic priorities set out in the local skills improvement plan.
In Lancashire, the SDF will be led by Myerscough College on behalf of The Lancashire Colleges (TLC).
Lancashire’s plan will be submitted to the Department of Education by March 31 2022 to help the government determine whether Local Skills Improvement Plans is the best method to shape UK skills provision.
The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, working in partnership with the East Lancashire Chamber and supported by Lancaster Chamber, is looking to engage with over 10,000 businesses as part of its evidence gathering.
Speaking on the feedback from the business community, Babs added:
“We launched on November 1 and the response to the initiative has been extremely positive. I have received a number of personal calls from business owners pleased that they have a chance to play a part in such an important project.
“Lancashire is an UK employment hot-bed and we have a fantastic network of colleges but we need to ensure that the technical courses our colleges offer are aligned to the skills requirement of employers. That is what this project aims to do.
“Employers must share their views to make this plan fit for them and fit for purpose.”
Information on the events can be found at the dedicated Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan website at www.lancashirelsip.co.uk.