Local Skills Improvement Plan

Buckinghamshire Business First will work with employers to address key skills shortages in its role as the Employer Representative Body (ERB) for skills in Buckinghamshire.

A total of 38 employer representative bodies across England have been tasked with writing plans that help to address local skills shortages and ensure that the priorities of businesses are being catered for by local education and training providers.

Buckinghamshire Business First will lead the research and development of a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Buckinghamshire, having been chosen by the government as the official Employer Representative Body (ERB) for skills in our county.

How will this benefit employers in Buckinghamshire?

  • Employers will be placed right at the heart of the Local Skills Improvement Plan in order to address key skills shortages.
  • Training and skills development will be more responsive to the needs of employers.
  • Courses will be designed to help employers recruit and/or train the staff they need to grow their business.

What is an Employer Representative Body (ERB)?

An ERB is an organisation that has been designated by the Secretary of State to be responsible for leading on the research, development and production of a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for a specified area.

As the ERB for skills in our county, Buckinghamshire Business First will bring together a wide range of employers, education and training providers, as well as other local stakeholders, to further understand the key skills needed in Buckinghamshire and help ensure that post-16 technical education and training is more closely aligned to these employer and local labour market needs.

In addition to being the Employer Representative Body for skills, Buckinghamshire Business First is also the Growth Hub for the county and has a membership of 14,000 Buckinghamshire-based businesses.

What will the Local Skills Improvement Plan for Buckinghamshire look like?

The plan will be a collaboration between local employers, training and education providers and other stakeholders that:

  1. Identifies where the most pressing skills shortages are within the local workforce – i.e. the skills employers most need but are struggling to find locally.
  2. Works directly with employers facing these priority skills shortages to gain a full understanding of the skills and expertise that are, or may in future, be required in Buckinghamshire.
  3. Enables education and training providers to deliver post-16 technical education or training that directly addresses the priority areas and skills shortages identified. This will be achieved in time for the start of the 2023/24 academic year in September 2023.
  4. Considers how over-arching issues such as Net Zero, climate change and digitalisation affect businesses in all sectors.

In addition, the Local Skills Improvement Plan will build on the work of the Buckinghamshire Skills Hub’s Local Skills Report 2022.

Why this is good news for Bucks businesses

Businesses can benefit from engaging with Buckinghamshire Business First in its role as Employer Representative Body by helping to identify current and future skills requirements in the local area and helping to bring about changes which ensure a better match between skills provision and their skills needs.

As well as alerting providers to their requirements for workforce skills and training, employers can also support local employment and upskilling by offering apprenticeships and work placements, and seconding staff to colleges.

There will plenty of opportunities for employers to provide their insights into the Local Skills Improvement Plan, including via focus groups and roundtable discussions, while networking and talent showcase events will bring to life the human side of skills development and career opportunities.

What about schools and colleges?

Buckinghamshire has long set the blueprint for uniting employers and education and training providers through the work of the Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, whose county-wide events such as the wildly successful Bucks Skills Show are proof of the good that can come from bringing together different links of the same chain (employers and schools; employers and adult career changers; business groups and training providers).

Through the LSIP, education providers will get an insight into the future plan for skills in the county and they and their students will benefit from activity such as work experience opportunities, teacher encounters with businesses, speakers from priority sectors, engagement with parents, collaborations between schools and technical and vocational training providers.

How to contact us about the Local Skills Improvement Plan

John Browning is the Programme Manager of the Local Skills Improvement Plan in Buckinghamshire. He can be contacted at John.Browning@BucksSkillsHub.org or 01296 798774 / 07507 690892.