News. People & Skills Projects - 28 January 2022

Refreshed D2N2 report outlines strategy for local skills development

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has refreshed its Local Skills Report.

The new report sets out the actions needed to make sure everyone has the skills which will allow them to get good jobs, both now and in the future —and how it will also help the region address other issues, from climate change to regional inequality.

Read the report here

Since 2018, Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) have been bringing together employers, skills providers, and key local stakeholders to better understand and resolve skills mismatches at a local level. The D2N2 LEP, in its capacity as organiser of the region’s Skills Advisory Panel (SAP), is fostering greater collaboration and engagement with key local stakeholders to support its leadership role in the local economy.

Drawing on our regional skills and labour market strengths, challenges and ambitions, the report is a springboard for future engagements, partnerships and conversations. It offers a wealth of insights and ideas for use by any individual or organisation with an interest in skills development in the region.

Since the publication of the first D2N2 Local Skills Report in March 2021, the D2N2 area has been successful in securing additional funding for resources and provision to address skills mismatches across the area. Most notably, there have been two Strategic Development Fund pilots, the extension of the Digital Skills Bootcamps, and the recently announced successful bid for an East Midlands Institute of Technology, led by the University of Derby.

The strategies and action plans presented are all designed to contribute to the wider ambitions for the region, responding to local needs and development priorities, and to clearly align with government strategies aimed at growth and levelling up. The report outlines how stakeholders can assist to build more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies:

  • Government: Provide funding continuity; increase access to reskilling; use SAPs to enable a strategic focus on skills encompassing all funding streams and audiences.
  • Post-16 Skills Providers: Continue to reassess delivery against the shifting needs of the economy; build collaborative skills pathways; embed digital and low carbon in all learning pathways.
  • Schools: Provide senior support of careers activity; promote all technical skills pathways; embed careers inspiration and core digital skills in the curriculum.
  • Local Authorities: Work from this common evidence base for new developments such as County Deals; facilitate relationships between local employers and schools.
  • Employers and Business Representative Organisations (BROs): Make skills core to recovery and growth planning; engage with colleges, universities and other providers in the skills system to develop the future workforce; support your workers in retraining, reskilling. and upskilling.

Fiona Baker, Head of People of Skills at D2N2 LEP, said:

“Major economic changes have been driven by skills demand trends and technological changes, and then accelerated by Covid-19 and Brexit.  During the pandemic, our focus has been on mitigating actions. With the worst of the labour market impacts seemingly now behind us, we are now able to increase attention on medium-term initiatives.

“We have made good progress since the first Local Skills Report was published in March 2021, but we must maintain momentum to achieve our ambitions. This report will drive wider influence and national leverage by feeding into the Department for Education’s (DfE) Skills and Productivity Board, and into our regular reporting to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. We all have important roles to play in delivering the priority interventions we have identified.”

Local Skills Reports

This second iteration of SAPs’ Local Skills Reports comes at a time when DfE is trailblazing new Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs), in eight areas of the country. Developed by Employer Representative Bodies, LSIPs are part of a suite of reforms launched in DfE’s “Skills for Jobs” White Paper that aim to put employers more firmly at the heart of the skills system. An evaluation of the eight Trailblazers will inform the national roll out of the programme. In the meantime, and before LSIPs are rolled out across the country, it is DfE’s intention that Skills Advisory Panels and this Local Skills Report should continue to influence the behaviour of local partners and feed intelligence to central government, including to sectoral focussed skills teams and the national-level Skills and Productivity Board (SPB).

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