Metalworker with apprentice in workshop

Plans to improve skill levels in the region

Chambers of Commerce in both West and North Yorkshire have won approval from the Secretary of State for Education for their plans to improve skill levels in the region.

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is leading on two Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) for both North and West Yorkshire, with the latter done in partnership with Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The UK Government has now officially approved both proposals.

LSIPs are designed to put local employer need at the heart of skills development by helping businesses and employers engage with learning providers.

For the past 12 months, both West & North Yorkshire and Mid Yorkshire Chambers have been working in partnership with the mayoral authority, local authorities, further and higher education and other training providers to engage with business and other business representative groups to build on the existing data, strategic plans and collaborative working to bring together the key themes that will support skills growth for a 21st century Yorkshire workforce.   

This work saw the Chambers’ LSIPs team engage with hundreds of businesses around the region via roundtables, surveys, questionnaires and other face-to-face meetings. This has led to the identification of a number of specific sectors on which each individual LSIP would focus.

For North Yorkshire these are: Construction, Health and Social Care, Digital, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Agri-skills and the Visitor Economy.

For West Yorkshire the sectors identified are: Construction, Health and Social Care, Digital, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Education, Financial and Professional Services, Low Carbon and Logistics & Transport.

The preparatory work has also identified areas for review, regarding potential enhancements to optimise access to skills development, leading to career progression or change.  This lays the foundations for developing these in a range of formats.

Now that the Secretary of State has signed off both individual LSIPs for North and West Yorkshire, the plans will move to implementation stage, setting in train a process to make the most of the support and training options on offer, increasing the networks and ease with which businesses, staff and individuals can get to the right support.

The plan will run at least until early 2025 and will be reviewed annually. Meanwhile, both Chambers will continue to engage with both employers and learning providers to deliver consistently up-to-date information.

Martin Hathaway, managing director of Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Local Skills Improvement Plans will help build on the excellent work delivered by learning providers around the region.

“Rather than rewrite curricula or re-invent the wheel, they will serve as convening points between employers, educators and trainers to ensure that regional economic need is both understood and met.

“One of the key learnings that our fieldwork has yielded is that employers want to have a relationship-based approach to learning providers, rather than simply a transactional one. LSIPs are now ideally placed to deliver just that.”

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