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LSIP Stakeholder Briefing (25/11/2022)

As you know, The Department for Education has announced funding for a total of 38 Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPS) across the UK. Doncaster Chamber is leading the development for one of these plans in South Yorkshire, following on from our successful delivery of a trailblazer earlier this year.
The region’s three Chambers of Commerce (those being the ones for Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley & Rotherham) will be collaborating together on this project, with Doncaster designated as the lead Employer Representative Body.
The Chambers will be working closely alongside various stakeholders including colleges, universities, private training providers, businesses, government and other employer groups with the ultimate goal of closing the skills gap. In turn, the LSIP will ensure that we have an employer-led skills system in South Yorkshire, with the occupational routes and skills provision that our local areas need right now and for their future development.  
To keep you abreast of the progress that has been made thus far and any important developments, we will be issuing a series of regular LSIP briefings. In this first update, we cover the steps that have already been taken, the resources that are currently at our disposal, and how the new LSIP will build upon learnings from the initial trailblazer.
Where We Are Now
As per Statutory Guidance, we have submitted our delivery plan for the South Yorkshire LSIP (which was required within 28 days of designation).
This document outlining how we propose to engage with stakeholders, while also estimating the level of funding that is required was considered by The Department for Education (DfE). Here, they had the opportunity to ask for further clarification on any points and to give us feedback.
Since then, the plan has been finalised and we have received a Grant Variation letter, which in turn gives us the formal go-ahead to commence the project. 
We have also mobilised an operational delivery team from the three chambers and are in the process of recruiting a number of roles to support the LSIP project going forward. 
How the LSIP Will Build on the Trailblazer
As one of the eight LSIP trailblazer regions, we will not be starting from scratch. On the contrary, we will be expanding upon the findings from that earlier project, while also concentrating on a more specific area this time around.

For context, DfE have stated that trailblazer regions should build upon their previous activity and findings when embarking on the LSIP, only this time with a more specific focus. In the case of South Yorkshire, we will be looking at digital skills, as our trailblazer report identified this as a key concern.
Of the employers surveyed as part of SY Trailblazer, 74% believed digital skills were important for their current workforce to be effective and more than half believed that their reliance on such skills would increase significantly within the next five years. Yet many reported that they are struggling in this area.

A key finding from the report explained that: “SY businesses need digital skills now and for the future […]  There are challenges as many employers lack a full understanding of digital skills, capabilities and applications and therefore struggle to access and utilise these skills or upskill their workforce.”
Taking this into account, delivering the new LSIP will necessitate that we engage with more experts in this field.
Meanwhile, insights gleaned from the trailblazer tell us that we will also need to have more extensive consultations with education providers, as their curriculums will be affected by the LSIP outcomes.   
What’s Next?
In addition to engaging with providers, we will obviously need to carry out intensive consultations with businesses, in order to better understand their digital skills needs. This research (which will be carried out between now and March 2023) will take the form of short surveys, events and diagnostic interviews with the employers themselves.
Once this activity has been completed, we will then have until the end of May 2023 to fully analyse the findings and produce the LSIP. That being said, after that initial submission, we will still be able to update the plan and submit new versions of it at two other points (between June 2023 and March 2025).
To reiterate, here are the main points from this briefing:

  • Our delivery plan for the LSIP has been approved by DfE.
  • Our team has been mobilised to begin work on this, and we are also recruiting to a number of additional posts to support them.
  • The new LSIP will continue the work of our previous trailblazer, while also focussing more specifically on digital skills.
  • Going forward, we will be engaging intensively with both education providers and businesses, in order to find out what they need from the LSIP
  • The full LSIP will then be submitted by May 2023.
To find out more about the LSIP progress, and to find out how you can get involved, please keep an eye out for future briefings like this one.  If you have any questions, you can also email:

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