Businesses from across the North East are being urged to support the creation of a blueprint for the future skills and training needs of the region.
The North East England Chamber of Commerce is leading the creation of a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) – an employer-led plan intended to set out actions for further education colleges and training providers – for the North of Tyne and Tees Valley areas. Skills providers will be assessed on their adherence to the plan by Ofsted.
Rachel Anderson, assistant director of policy at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Local Skills Improvement Plan has the potential to transform the skill set of workers in the region and hence create a step change in our economy – but it will only do so if every business plays its part.
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“The overall aim of the LSIP is to ensure that the right skilled people are available at the right time and that those skilled people have local jobs to go to. That can only be achieved by genuine engagement from businesses driving actions backed by accountability.
“At the Chamber, skills issues are the number one complaint we hear from businesses on a daily basis. Our conversations with businesses on the issues they face generally open with skills. This is a real opportunity to turn this talk into action, to help bring about the change which we know employers want to see.
“That’s why we’re urging businesses in all sectors, of all shapes and sizes, to have their say and let us know what skills they want to see developed in order for them to thrive and grow. Every business counts in this campaign so please make sure that your voice is heard.”
As part of the programme, the Chamber has identified some key growth sectors for both areas, including renewable energy, health and social care, culture, creative and tourism. The business body also said it was looking at skills gaps across the economy, including digital and IT capabilities, project management, supervisory and management training.
Ms Anderson added: “We know in every business there are skills requirements which are not met, where people muddle through or try to work things out because there are not the right skills available at the right time.
“These skills shortages are often hidden because they fall into every sector and don’t get picked up until it is too late. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could develop resources that would give every company the chance to recruit skilled staff or upskill their existing workforce in this way?”
Employers can outline their skills requirements to the Chamber via a series of in-person and virtual events over the coming months. Interested firms can register here.
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