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Chambers Lead Successful Start to Local Skills Plans

Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) across England “are working and beginning to make positive differences for local employers”, according to a new report commissioned by the British Chambers of Commerce 


Based on evidence from 21 of the 32 chamber led LSIPs, the evaluation report concludes that the process is changing attitudes and encouraging more employers to collaborate and engage positively with the skills system. 


As part of its budget submission, the BCC is calling on the Government to commit to fund business led LSIPs beyond the current 2025 cut off point, to at least 2028.  

BCC reports that LSIPs are working and beginning to make positive changes to employers. 


The study highlights the “huge potential of LSIPs to build on the employer led system, improve strategic planning, maximise the impact of skills funding and boost employer investment.” 

Using research conducted in Autumn 2023, the report analyses the approaches taken by 21 chamber-led LSIPs, and identifies their impact so far. Data gathered as part of the research show that, as of May 2023, 65,765 employers had been engaged.  

The research identifies a number of challenges for businesses, including “bureaucratic complexities” and “limited employer influence over skills spending priorities”. The report says overcoming the barriers requires “active engagement, open communication, and the advocacy of Chambers to smooth over the bumps in the LSIPs process” 

The report argues that the LSIP approach will lead to a more cohesive skills system. 

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is delighted to play its part in developing a Skills System that is fit for the future, by linking local action with national strategy, having supported the production of the British Chamber report.

Claire Froggatt – Programme Director is leading the work in the Solent region. She said:

“LSIPs put the employer at the heart of skills planning, and we need all the parts of the system to work together with a shared vision, including our great Further Education and training providers/colleges as well as other stakeholders; the Solent LSIP provides the vehicle for the ‘Skills Conversation’ and sets out six priorities for the region. They include raising aspirations and awareness to ensure the skills ecosystem can improve the life chances of all communities across the Solent. They also include navigating a sometimes-complex system. There are also priorities focusing on proactive employer engagement and helping everyone (employers and those needing training) find out what skills are needed and who is offering training as well as improving responsiveness to changing skills needs.” 

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said: 

“Business-led Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) are only just getting started – but they are already making a huge difference.
The local approach to skills planning brings huge benefits. Now we need a long-term commitment from politicians to make sure we can align skills investment with local economic growth, and help more people access the training they need for great jobs.
Our report highlights how the Chamber network is playing an important role in bringing employers and training providers together at a local level, to identify solutions and plan for change.
If we get it right, the potential of LSIPs is phenomenal. It is an ongoing process that identifies business growth ambitions, the people and skills they need to achieve that growth, and the training needed for people to benefit from these opportunities. We need the LSIPs to stay business led, and to remain a key part of the government’s long-term skills strategy. Without that commitment – the hard work already achieved risks being undermined.”

Read the full LSIP Evaluation Report in ‘Useful Reports’ on our Local Skills Improvement Plans page.


About Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is the independent voice of local business across the county and one of the largest regional business networks in the UK. With a strategic vision to ‘unlock Hampshire’s potential’, Hampshire Chamber brings together the combined influence, strength and expertise of the county’s three former major chambers. It works with over 2,000 individual firms spanning all sectors and sizes of business. Member services include training, advice, international trade documentation, events, networking opportunities and lobbying to policymakers on issues affecting business. Hampshire Chamber’s PEER network (standing for Participation, Engagement, Expertise and Reputation) is a member community designed to help any employer to grow and thrive irrespective of their stage on the enterprise journey.

About the British Chambers of Commerce - Where Business Belongs     

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 53 Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing tens of thousands of firms. It provides a unified voice for these companies, rooted in their communities, at the national level. We link our UK network with over 75 international member chambers, to promote trade and investment, and work for a better future for businesses around the world

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