What are Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs)?
Local Skills Improvement Plans outline the main skills shortages impacting employers and set out a list of actionable priorities for skills providers to deliver training that will bridge the skills gaps, ultimately providing employers with skilled individuals to help their businesses move forward.
How did Local Skills Improvement Plans come about?
In January 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) published the Skills for Jobs White Paper, which set out an ambitious employer-led approach aimed at making the provision of Further Education more responsive to local skills needs and ultimately local economic needs.
To underpin this, new laws were passed in April 2022 through the Skills and Post-16 Education Act to transform the skills and training landscape by embedding employers at the heart of the skills system. It is now a legal requirement for colleges and other providers to work with employers to ensure that training meets the needs of local areas.
To help articulate the views of employers and map out how skills providers can meet their needs, DfE introduced Local Skills Improvement Plans.
How will LSIPs benefit businesses?
One of the aims of the LSIP is to facilitate direct and dynamic working arrangements between employers and skills providers. These working relationships will provide employers with the opportunity to have ongoing conversations with providers to ensure that skills provision is meeting their needs.
Through the provision of training where it is needed, individuals will be able to develop the skills they need to get good jobs in their local areas increasing their prospects and benefiting businesses.
Who is producing the LSIP for Greater Manchester?
On 5th September 2022, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce began its role as the designated Employer Representative Body (ERB) to lead the development of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Greater Manchester.
It is our role, as the lead ERB for Greater Manchester, to work alongside the business community, training providers and a range of key stakeholders to produce the LSIP, setting out the current and future skills needs for Greater Manchester.
How will it work?
The first stage in producing the LSIP involved data gathering on a huge scale. A survey was launched in order to find out how many companies have had recruitment difficulties, how many are suffering from labour shortages, and which skills gaps businesses are struggling to fill.
This was the largest skills and recruitment survey of its kind and was completed by businesses from all sectors, and all areas of Greater Manchester.
All responses were used to paint a picture of where the skills gaps are in Greater Manchester and which gaps need filling most urgently. The next phase of the project involves working with skills providers to ensure there is provision in place for individuals to gain the skills that employers need.
How can businesses get involved?
If you’d like to get involved in the second phase of the LSIP, we are compiling a list of businesses who are interested in working with skills providers on a regular basis to help assess the current provision and ensure it matches the needs of businesses going forward. Email our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's happening next?
The Local Skills Improvement Plan for Greater Manchester was submitted to the Secretary of State for Education in May 2023 for approval and publication. It is expected that most of the country will have a LSIP approved by the Secretary of State by Summer 2023.
Between Summer 2023 and March 2025, Greater Manchester Chamber will work with partners to put the plan into practice, regularly reviewing and updating the LSIP to ensure it remains relevant. Take a look at the full timeline here.