Lancashire chambers of commerce set to lead on plan to improve skills in county

Lancashire’s businesses are set to be at the heart of learning the skills needed for the county’s future after the Government handed the job of leading the Lancashire Local Skills Improvement plan to the chamber of commerce.

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce will be leading the Lancashire Local Skills Improvement plan in partnership with the East Lancashire Chamber, with a brief to develop plans to tackle skills shortages.

Nationally, 32 accredited chambers have been awarded contracts to run the LSIPs, bringing their business members and other stakeholders together to ensure the economy gets the relevantly trained workforce it needs.

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Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Chamber said the two Lancashire chambers were delighted to have been designated by the Secretary of State to help develop skills that grow local economies and boost opportunities for future generations.

Hi-tech skills of the future will be the focus of the chamber of commerce led Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan

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She said: “Both chambers will use its convening power and deep knowledge of our local economies and communities to develop clear plans to address skills challenges faced by businesses.

“We 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.”

She said that more than ten thousand businesses were engaged in eight chamber-led trailblazer schemes earlier this year.

One of which was in Lancashire and they would now build on the findings to ensure that planning for local skills was aligned with the job opportunities and growth ambitions of employers.

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Babs added “Much of the work done during the trailblazer period is now being implemented by our local colleges of further education.

“There’s a big job still ahead to engage with thousands of businesses. But when completed the county will have an evidence-based skills audit of a sort never seen before. It will ensure future skills delivered by colleges of further education actually match what firms require and deserve in the future.

“This will be a genuinely transformative approach to dealing with long-term skills gaps, improving productivity and increasing opportunity for Lancashire people.”

A dedicated Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan website with links to surveys can be found at www.lancashirelsip.co.uk.

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Babs added: “The local skills agenda has never been as important as we address the post pandemic and Brexit world. This is a great opportunity for Lancashire’s businesses, colleges, training providers and business support community to work together and create a local skills improvement plan that truly recognises the skills needs, and more importantly, some of the solutions needed to address these.”

“Closing the skills gap across the county will help build all communities, and we are proud to see, once again, the chambers’ in Lancashire are at the heart of local growth.”