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Local Skills Improvement Plan –
Future Skills Channel

Putting businesses at the heart of skills planning by leading the Future Skills Channel that will bridge the gap between business and education


BCC Accredited Chambers of Commerce up and down the country have been designated by the Secretary of State to help develop Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) that are set to help grow local economies and boost opportunities for future generations.

LSIPs reflect the geography of local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) so there are two in Hampshire, covering the Solent and the Enterprise M3 (EM3) areas.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is at the centre of delivering this programme, in partnership with Business Representative Organisations in the Solent Area.

Surrey Chambers are leading across the EM3 area, with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce supporting.

In the first half of 2023 Hampshire Chamber and partner business networks brought together local businesses, colleges, and training providers, plus a broad range of stakeholders, to identify the skills needed to enable economic growth in our communities.

The Chamber has been working with our broad range of business and skills stakeholder partners to shape the Solent LSIP to meet the needs of our communities across the whole region.

We are delighted to share with you both the Solent Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) report and the Enterprise M3 (including all of Surrey)  Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) report has been approved by the Department for Education and is published below.

As you will be keenly aware the Solent provides a geographical territory with a compelling set of sectoral opportunities and socio-economic challenges. This LSIP addresses these through a set of recommendations and plans which will deliver improved local outcomes, offer valuable skills development and learning opportunities.

Through this LSIP we not only focus on some of our key sector strengths in marine, maritime, Freeports, Creative and Low Carbon but it also sets out the key priorities and changes needed to make post-16 technical education and training more responsive to employers’ needs. We have heard from employers and addressed their needs particularly in the all-important team and soft skills so essential to work. In this way we are providing a representative and coherent view of the skills required to support local economic growth, boost productivity, improve employability and enable progressions for learners.

From the outset when we sought to deliver the LSIP, as an employer representative body we also set out to include recommendations for improvements to the skills ecosystem in the Solent. We have framed these in a series of actions under six priorities. As a result, by delivering this change we will ensure all those with an interest in ensuring we develop skills effectively will be able to navigate and deliver on their needs more effectively. In this sense this LSIP is an ambitious call for action for us all and seeks to address persistent skills challenges across the Solent.

We invite you to explore the LSIP from your own perspective and engage with us to discover how you can contribute to the delivery of these objectives. It requires us all to contribute and to work together for a united solution.

This is just the first phase. We continue to build the Solent LSIP plans with further sector reports and ensuring the key recommendations of phase one are implemented. We will be presenting this plan at many Chamber and partnership events over the coming months. In this way you can be assured fully of your chance to engage.

The Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) is an initiative from the Department for Education, currently being piloted nationally.

The aim of Local Skills Improvement Plans ( LSIPs ) is to put employers at the heart of the skills agenda, and build stronger and more dynamic partnerships between employers and further education providers, enabling provisions to then be put in place to respond to the skills needs of employers in local labour markets.

LSIPs will provide a clear, robust and meaningful articulation of local employer skills needs, and set out the priority changes needed to help deliver the skills employers need to operate successfully and boost productivity, plus help individuals to get good jobs and progress their careers.

A pilot scheme in 8 areas tested how LSIPs could best work. For more information about the resulting plans, read Local Skills Improvement Plan trailblazers.

The aims of the LSIPs are to:

  • put employers at the centre of the skills system
  • build a stronger and more dynamic partnership between employers and further education providers
  • allow provision to be more responsive to the skills needs of employers in local labour markets

LSIPs will set out to understand:

  • the current and future skills need
  • how local provision needs to change to help people develop the skills they need to get good jobs and increase their prospects

While all post-16 technical education or training is in scope, an LSIP is not intended to be comprehensive anthology of all skills gaps in the area. It will be for employers, through us, to identify the most pressing skills issues. We’ll also be looking to complement spotlights on specific sectors by considering cross-cutting issues such as low carbon, digitalisation and transferable ‘soft’ skills affecting businesses in all sectors.

In addition to looking at existing qualifications and apprenticeships, our LSIPs will identify the sort of non-accredited and quintessentially local provision that can best meet emerging skills need.

In essence it’s about ensuring we have the right provision to enable people to do their current and future jobs better.

Description coming soon.

LSIPs are all about putting the voice of the employer at the very heart of skills planning. We have a unique opportunity in developing LSIPs, giving employers, through the representative bodies, a clearer, more direct role in explaining the priorities for change and shaping skills provision in a structured way.

At the same time, colleges and other education providers are empowered and incentivised to flex their activities to meet the skills needs that employers articulate.

The aim is to make a positive difference to productivity, competitiveness and growth while ensuring local people have the skills training they need to take advantage of opportunities in the workplace.

Useful reports

We have undertaken  desk-based review of research and data locally which together with employer/stakeholder engagement has been used to inform the LSIP project.

Please find relevant/useful reports here:

Employer Resources

Please see below a range of resources that have been designed to raise awareness and inspiration of the talent pipeline to employers and navigate the pathway of the skills landscape.

Youth Employment Toolkit

The Education Landscape Guide & Annex

How to recruit and retain a diverse workforce for construction

Inclusive Toolkit from City College Norwich

Employers Guide to employing people with a Learning Difficulty

DWP Guidance to support with employee health and disability

Resources for employers from Careers and Enterprise Company

Information for Small Businesses

Employer Leaflet

Join us at an event

Though a range of events we will share our insights from the report, and identify better ways to deliver skills solutions accessible to your business.

Get involved

For more information about the Solent or Enterprise M3 Local Skills Improvement Plans, please contact one of the team via

Email us

Conflict of Interest Policy

Register of Interest Form