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The Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce has been chosen to lead the development and delivery of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region.
Skills shortages are regularly highlighted by Cambridgeshire businesses in economic surveys as a key recruitment issue, and LSIPs, funded by the Department for Education, aim to put the voice of local employers at the heart of the learning and skills system to build a stronger, more dynamic partnership between employers and further education providers. It is hoped this will allow provision to be more responsive to the skills needs of employers in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough labour market.
The Chambers LSIP Lead, Laura Ruaux, said: “LSIPs are an exciting opportunity for the Chamber to bring together employers, training providers and other key stakeholders to set out the key priorities and changes needed in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help ensure post-16 technical education and training is more closely aligned to local employer and labour market needs.
“We will be looking at a collaborative approach as we move forward to develop a successful LSIP for our area.”
Chamber Chief Executive, Vic Annells, commented: “The Chamber will be working very closely with our stakeholders to ensure we have a strong dialogue and engagement as part of our LSIP proposals for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough where we represent many companies. We look forward to driving this important agenda forward with our partners to ensure we deliver on the skills needs for the county.”
Supporting the decision for the Chamber to deliver the LSIP Fliss Miller, Interim Associate Skills Director at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “If we are to tackle the skills shortages that our businesses’ experience, it is imperative that businesses have a louder voice in the skills system. Our partners in the Chambers of Commerce are well placed to facilitate this.
“We will work closely with the Chambers of Commerce to ensure that employers have more of a say and to establish a systematic mechanism to further inform the skills provision in our region.”
The Chamber is one of 32 Accredited Chambers of Commerce which will lead LSIPs across the country, supported by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
Jane Gratton, from the BCC, said: “We are delighted that so many Accredited Chambers have been designated by the Secretary of State.
“The Chamber Network will use its convening power and deep knowledge of their local economies and communities to develop clear plans to address skills challenges faced by businesses.
“Chambers will bring together local businesses, training providers and a broad range of stakeholders to identify the skills needed to increase opportunities and enable economic growth for the benefit of everyone in the community.
“This is an opportunity for employers to shape how their current and future workforce can access the right training to thrive in the modern, more digital and greener workplace.
“More than 10,000 businesses were engaged in the eight Chamber-led trailblazers. Building on this learning and success, we will ensure that planning for local skills is aligned with the job opportunities and growth ambitions of employers. An efficient, network approach will enable the sharing of best practice to boost outcomes for people wherever they live, work and train.
“Closing the skills gap across all regions and sectors will help build all communities, and we are proud to see, once again, Accredited Chambers at the heart of local growth.”