Skills

Having the appropriately skilled staff to meet the requirements of local businesses is a key criteria for the success of our local economy.

Here at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), we understand the importance of having an appropriately skilled workforce ready to support our growing economy. From the very beginning we have prioritised Skills, with a single ambition: for our local business needs to drive skills supply at a local level.

We intend to achieve this by aligning publicly funded training with local business demand. Our strategy, therefore, focuses on actions that can effect this change supported by our local stakeholders and government partners.

Strategy

The Skills Strategy Group, comprising a range of businesses, education providers and the public sector representatives, have helped the LEP to develop a clear strategy for the future.

This strategy is broken down into three distinct areas:

Awareness and Aspirations of the Potential Workforce

The current publically funded training system is largely driven by the demands of students, as highlighted by a Young Chambers report, on the aspirations of 11-19 year olds, that clearly shows a mismatch between what our young people aspire to and the jobs that are actually available to them.

The first strand of our strategy will seek to address this issue with young people, those out of work, and those who wish to retrain.

Our work should provide the potential workforce with:

  • An awareness of what sectors are operating locally;
  • The functions and opportunities within these businesses;
  • The skills and qualifications needed to access employment; and,
  • Aspirations.

By providing the potential workforce with localised information in an inspirational way, projects should increase the level of aspirational interest in the sectors that will contribute to growth in the GCGP area.

Businesses Planning and Budgeting for Training

Research shows that businesses need to do more when it comes to planning and budgeting for staff development. Without the input and understanding of the business community into the skills agenda a clear change in how delivery takes place cannot be achieved.

The second strand of our strategy seeks to help businesses to understand how training can help growth, to promote the role of planning to ensure a constant supply of skills, and to access the right training.

We need businesses:

  • To be able to articulate clearly what they need and when;
  • To understand the skills agenda; and,
  • To realise how important our young people are to the future of economy.

There are some great examples in our LEP area already, by building on this best practice we can secure a more sustainable growth economy.

Localised Data and Intelligence

Local data and intelligence is vital to ensuring the right skills are delivered to our business community.

There are large geographical differences within the LEP area in terms of business sectors and the skills they need to grow. We need to be able to drill down to what is important locally and then be able to build a picture, constructed not just built on data, but using local intelligence as well. We can then use this information to drive skills provision through our colleges and provider network.

By really understanding our economy at a micro-level, we will have the information we need to access future funding streams and ensure national policy reflects our needs and not just those of big supply chain driven areas.

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