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LSIP Stakeholder Briefing (31/01/2023)

Since our last briefing in November, we are pleased to announce that we have made significant headway with the LSIP and that insight gathering for the project is about to commence.  
As a quick recap on the progress mad thus far, the three South Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce (those being the ones for Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley & Rotherham) are leading the development of a new Local Skills Improvement Plan, following a successful trailblazer in 2022.
With the ultimate goal of closing the skills gap in the region, they will be working alongside various other key stakeholders here—including colleges, universities, private training providers, businesses and government.
At the end of the project, these groups will have all contributed to the research and development of a plan for creating a more employer-led skills system centred on digital skills. One that is more agile in responding to the needs of businesses in our area.

Of the employers surveyed as part of the South Yorkshire Trailblazer, representing a diverse range of industries, 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.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of what the South Yorkshire LSIP aims to achieve, please revisit our previous briefing or consult the corresponding webpage. This particular update will be focussed more on the project’s next steps.

Business Engagement Starts This Week

After a busy period of devising research questions, coordinating with relevant stakeholders and preparing marketing materials, the next stage of the LSIP project will begin in earnest on Wednesday, February 1st.

From this date, we will then start engaging with employers to hear their views on the skills system, as well as what they would like to see from training provision going forward.
Depending on how extensively they would like to be involved, businesses can either just fill in a quick survey on the subject — which will launch on Wednesday — or commit to a more thorough face-to-face diagnostic. If they agree to the latter, then they will be able to have a more in-depth conversation about their experiences with the South Yorkshire skills system and how they think it could be improved (with particular emphasis on digital skills). 
From the perspective of employers, this is an opportunity to help shape future curriculum and have a say in how the next generation is prepared for the world of work. Over the course of the diagnostic interviews, they may also be referred to existing support or directed towards helpful resources. 
Collectively, the chambers will be promoting the survey and diagnostic invitations on social media and through their other communication channels. Businesses will be able to get in touch directly as well, should they want to participate in the insight gathering.
Not to mention, there will be a series of engagement events, the details of which will be revealed in the near future.

Provider Consultations Underway

Engaging with businesses only represents part of the LSIP research, as we are also seeking the insights of education providers themselves.
To that end, consultations are already being carried out to help us understand current provision, curriculums and the barriers to change. Once again, the emphasis here will largely be on digital skills, as that is the specific focus on the South Yorkshire plan.
These provider consultations will run side-by-side with the business engagement activities, feeding into the LSIP report in May.
As one final point, we will be preparing draft LSIP priorities to share with providers in March, which they will then convey in their Accountability Statements.

How You Can Get Involved

If you are interested in supporting the above-mentioned insight gathering activities, either by promoting the survey or conducting 121 diagnostics, please email
Likewise, this remains the correct email address for any questions you might have.


To reiterate, here are the main points from this briefing:

  • Business Engagement activates will begin on the 1st of February.
  • Businesses can choose to fill in the relevant survey, or to participate in a more depth face-to-face conversation.
  • Provider consultations are already underway and draft LSIP priorities will be shared in March.
  • ​If stakeholders want to get involved in any of this insight gathering/ research, they can email

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