The government has launched the Local Skills Improvement Plans, designed to reshape technical skills provisions to meet the local labour market needs.

The eight different Chambers of Commerce that will be piloting the plans across their local jurisdictions have now been named. The areas, highlighted as trailblazers, include: West of England, Cumbria, South Yorkshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Tees Valley, Lancashire and Sussex. Together their plans will be backed by £4 million in funding.

How will plans change the future of education

The Department of Education originally discussed the plans as part of its FE White Paper published in January. It hopes the approach can close the skills gap by providing learners with training and education more relevant to the workplace.

In its Skills Accelerator application guidance the Department stated that by ‘bringing employers, colleges, and local stakeholders together’ the scheme could help all parties to ‘tailor provision to the challenges and opportunities most relevant to the local area.’

The scheme should give candidates a robust set of skills that can immediately be put to use. FEWeek suggests it will ‘address concerns that employers do not currently have enough influence over the skills provision offered in their locality and struggle to find staff to fill their skills gaps.’

Potential problem areas

The House of Lords is reviewing the success of the plans as it progresses. They have already raised concerns about the structural approach that’s been adopted, suggesting ‘less popular areas’ may struggle with little to no uptake.

Smart Assessor can accelerate the journey

We’ll be updating our blog as progress unfolds. It’s likely that local Chambers of Commerce can help create a relevant education program despite any organisational issues foreseen with the plans. The potential still seems great, and can be further enhanced with a robust Learning Management Platform to ensure learners are further supported through out the journey.