Major Milestone Reached For Employer Focused Skills Initiative

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Local Skills Improvement Plan
by Sarah Parrish

The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education, has, today, approved the Kent & Medway Local Skills Improvement Plan 2023 (LSIP) highlighting the key sectors and skills needs of the region.

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, the designated Employer Representative Body, has engaged with a wide range of employers, sector and trade groups, and stakeholders to bring together the key elements of the regions short- and long-term skills needs.

The Local Skills Improvement Plan provides a roadmap to support the region in addressing skills needs and shortages and will enable further collaborative working and joint initiatives. It builds on the trailblazer LSIP published in 2022 and the work of the Kent & Medway Employment Taskforce and other regional skills analysis.

The value of the LSIP is clear to the leaders of the local Further Education Colleges, Graham Razey OBE, David Gleed and Simon Cook, who state:

“The LSIP has strengthened the collaboration between the three Kent and Medway Further Education Colleges. We have a sharper focus on the skills priorities of businesses – which is good for our students and good for local firms.”

Jo James OBE, CEO of the Chamber states:

“Ensuring that, in Kent and Medway, the needs of business are at the heart of the skills conversation and that collaboration between education providers and employers is strengthened is vital.  By listening to the needs of business and ensuring we take a collaborative approach with providers and stakeholders to address these, we can make a meaningful difference to the future prosperity of the region.”

The Chamber will take forward the actions set out in the plan working with businesses in the region over the next two years. It will drive initiatives with the support of strategic partners across the region including Further Education (FE) providers, Independent Training Providers through KATO, Higher Education Institutions, the National Career Service (CXK) and the Careers Hub (The Education People) as well as the local and regional authorities.

LSIPs are a valuable tool for improving the skills system in England, and Kent and Medway is at the forefront of this. By working together, employers, training providers, and other stakeholders can ensure that the workforce has the skills the region needs to succeed in the 21st century economy.

The full Kent & Medway Local Skills Improvement Plan can be viewed here.