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Local Skills Improvement Plan: Have your say – it’s crucial, networking group head tells employers

MEMBERSHIP organisation NNBN is calling on businesses and employers throughout Northamptonshire to support a new initiative to improve skills levels.

The government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper set out an ambitious employer-led approach aimed at making further education provision more responsive to local skills requirements and ultimately local economic needs.

The document introduces Local Skills Improvement Plans as a key part of an adult skills system where businesses are given a much stronger voice in local skills planning by working closely with FE providers, engaging effectively with local leaders and other stakeholders and forging a stronger and more dynamic partnership.

The result will be that providers will be more responsive to the skills needs of employers in local labour markets.

“It is key that employers and businesses engage with the Local Skills Improvement Plan and voices are heard,” said NNBN director Simon Cox pictured left.

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire Chambers, are the Designated Lead for the development of the LSIP for the South East Midlands region and are working with key partners to ensure the local voice is heard and captured.

The LSIP is looking to have significant engagement from the business community in order to ascertain skills requirements and the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill provides a statutory underpinning for local skills improvement plans. It introduces duties on providers to co-operate in the development of and then have regard to the plans.

The Chamber are hosting a series of monthly events at which skills requirements are discussed by sector. Mr Cox urged employers to attend or complete an online survey set up to gauge business opinion.

“We see this as a way that we can, collectively, shape the future of closing the skills gaps and shortages we find in our business communities and we are calling for you to engage in the events or survey being led by the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce,” Mr Cox said.

LSIP project manager Tony Knaggs said” “I think we all recognise that having the right skills to do our job is key to us having a healthy, growing economy. The message is “Get involved” and we can only do this by working with dynamic member organisations such as the NNBN who are key to getting the message out to hundreds of local businesses”

To complete the online survey visit: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X27X8M6. For more information on the LSIP events visit www.northants-chamber.co.uk/events

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