Skills reform

First local skills improvement plans published

The plans are a key FE reform as outlined in the skills for jobs white paper

The plans are a key FE reform as outlined in the skills for jobs white paper

13 Apr 2022, 14:59

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The first batch of local skills improvement plans have been published today by the Department for Education.

Eight chambers of commerce have led on the reports for eight areas in England chosen to trial the plans, which are key FE reform as outlined in the skills for jobs white paper and subsequent skills bill.

Six of the areas – West of England, Cumbria, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, Lancashire and Sussex – have had their plans published after receiving sign off from the DfE.

Leicestershire and Kent are yet to release their plans.

The idea behind local skills improvement plans (LSIPs) is to identify local employers’ skills needs so that colleges and training providers can align the courses they offer accordingly.

They are hoped to address concerns that employers do not currently have enough influence over the skills provision offered in their locality and struggle to find staff to fill their skills gaps.

The Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, for example, says: “LSIPs won’t involve employer representative bodies having funding or commissioning powers. But they will mean that when planning their provision, providers will have the benefit of evidence-based and credibly articulated priorities from local employers.”

And Lancashire’s LSIP says: “Our aim was to produce an evidence-based skills audit of a sort never seen before to ensure future skills delivered by colleges of further education actually match what firms require and deserve in the future.”

Although they are led by employer representative bodies, the plans have been created in collaboration with colleges and training providers.

Colleges have however expressed desire to be made “jointly responsible” for the development of LSIPs.

The trailblazer LSIPs vary in length, with the shortest being 40 pages while the longest is 134 pages.

You can access the six available LSIPs here:

Employer representative body leadGeographic areaImprovement planLinked Strategic Development Fund pilot
Business West Chamber of CommerceWest of EnglandLocal Skills Improvement Plan – West of England PlusWeston College
Cumbria Chamber of CommerceCumbriaLocal Skills Improvement Plan – CumbriaLakes College Cumbria
Doncaster Chamber of CommerceSouth YorkshireLocal Skills Improvement Plan – South YorkshireBarnsley College
East Midlands Chamber of CommerceLeicestershireLocal Skills Improvement Plan – Leicester and LeicestershireLoughborough College
Kent Invicta Chamber of CommerceKentLocal Skills Improvement Plan – Kent and Medway  Mid-Kent College
North-East England Chamber of CommerceTees ValleyLocal Skills Improvement Plan – Tees ValleyThe Education Training Collective
North and Western Lancashire Chamber of CommerceLancashireLocal Skills Improvement Plan – LancashireMyerscough College
Sussex Chamber of CommerceSussexLocal Skills Improvement Plan – SussexChichester College

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