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Businesses and education providers join together to help shape skills report

Representatives from businesses and education providers from across the West Midlands have joined together to help shape a report looking at what skills are needed to help employers grow and how this provision can be delivered.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce held a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Regional Priorities Event at Aston Villa Football Club, in Birmingham.

Businesses and education providers join together to help shape skills report

LSIPs were designed by Government to put employers at the centre of the skills system in their region and to build a stronger, more dynamic partnership between employers and further education providers, and the three Chambers of Commerce were selected by the Department for Education to lead on the region’s LSIP last autumn.

Delegates heard how detailed research, led by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, has been conducted to gather information from more than 1,000 businesses and more than 60 education and training providers across the region to identify the current and future skills needs of employers, how skills are being delivered and any barriers being faced.

Early analysis of the data has identified five key themes – strategic leadership, core and technical skills needs, identifying the right providers, identifying the right means of delivery and recruiting into education.

A total of 74 per cent of those surveyed had not worked with post-16 education and training in the last five years, and barriers identified during the research included the lack of budget for training, lack of staff time to both undertake and oversee training, lack of knowledge about training and the training available not being suitable.

Delegates then took part in round table discussions to help devise provider and employer solutions to some of the challenges, with the responses helping to shape a report which will be submitted to the Department for Education in May.

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been campaigning for some time to put businesses at the forefront of the planning process for skills.

“We want to ensure that businesses can identify their training needs and a system is built around this, rather than employers being limited on what they can do with funding by the time it reaches them.

“The event was a fantastic opportunity to look at the comprehensive research conducted with businesses of varying sizes across a range of sectors, as well as public sector organisations and other professional bodies, and have an in-depth discussion about how some of the barriers identified could be overcome.

“I would like to thank all of the employers and training providers in attendance who provided some excellent insights and feedback which will form a key part of our report the Department for Education.

“This crucial piece of work will enable employers across the region to tackle their skills gaps, increase productivity and further contribute to the growth of the economy.”

To find out more about the LSIP in the West Midlands region contact Adele Wheatley on 024 7665 4321 or email [email protected]

Pictured: (front row l to r) Rajpal Kaur, Keely Hancox and Adele Wheatley, (middle row l to r) Gurprit Singh and Corin Crane, of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, alongside Neil Anderson, of Black Country Chamber of Commerce, and (back row l to r) Jonathon Gray, of Black Country Chamber of Commerce, and Emily Stubbs, of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

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