Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Updated report sets out strategy for local skills development

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has refreshed its Local Skills Report.

The new report sets out the actions needed to make sure everyone has the skills which will allow them to get good jobs, both now and in the future – and it also addresses how it will contribute to other issues, from climate change to levelling up.

Since 2018 Skills Advisory Panels have been bringing together employers, skills providers and key local stakeholders to better understand and resolve skills mismatches at a local level.

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP leads the area’s Skills Advisory Panel (SAP) and is fostering greater collaboration and engagement with key local stakeholders to support its leadership role in the local economy.

The Lincolnshire Local Skills Report is a framework for skills ambitions and offers a wealth of insights and ideas by organisations that have an interest in skills development in the area.

The report published in March 2021 has been updated to reflect ongoing challenges in the labour market as a result of Covid-19.

Since that first report Greater Lincolnshire has been successful in securing additional funding for a new Career Hub, allowing expansion of its support to secondary school; resources to address skills mismatches such as digital skills bootcamps at Grantham College and short courses delivered through the Greater Lincolnshire Institute of Technology led by the University of Lincoln; and the Skills Capital Programme which is continuing to enhance training facilities to meet our industry sectors’ needs.

The refreshed report provides stakeholders, including Government departments, schools and post-16 skills providers, with a DfE-approved common evidence base and a strategic framework for actions that will contribute to recovery from Covid-19 and economic growth.

Local Skills Reports will provide a clear and consistent view of local skills needs across areas in a relevant and engaging format for local partners.

Reports will be a key source of local skills information that better enable cross-area comparison and help feed local intelligence to central government and the national-level Skills and Productivity Board (SPB).

Local Skills Reports will help to maximise the influence of SAPs locally by:

  • Acting as an engagement tool – a vehicle through which SAPs can directly engage, influence and rally employers and providers in their areas to support the local skills agenda.
  • Being a ‘go-to’ document for everything local-skills related – bringing together existing and new skills information into a consistent format common to all SAPs.
  • Clearly setting out key skills needs – ensuring local skills needs are visible to local partners who can then engage with them.
  • Offering valuable insight and evaluation – detailing the progress made on current local skills initiatives and outlining future skills plans to plug key skills gaps.

They will feed intelligence to the national SPB and central Government – a consistent output common to all SAPs that the SPB can use to understand the needs and priorities of local areas and build a national picture of the supply and demand for skills. The SPB has been set a remit of answering the following three questions over the next 12 months:

  • Which areas of the economy face the most significant skills mismatches or present growing areas of skills need?
  • Can the board identify the changing skills needs of several priority areas within the economy over the next five to 10 years?
  • How can skills and the skills system promote productivity growth in areas of the country that are poorer performing economically?

Simon Telfer, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Employment and Skills Advisory Panel, said: “Major economic changes have been driven by skills demand trends and technological changes, and then accelerated by Covid-19 and Brexit.

“During the pandemic our focus has been on mitigating actions in labour supply and demand. We have made good progress since the first Local Skills Report was published in March 2021, but we must maintain momentum to achieve our ambitions.

“This report will drive wider influence and national leverage by feeding into the Department for Education’s Skills and Productivity Board, and into our regular reporting to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. We all have important roles to play in delivering the priority interventions we have identified.”

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