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Oldham College joins national initiative to bridge local skills gaps

We are working with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to help boost skills across the country – by putting local businesses and employers at the heart of the discussion

Following the Skills for Jobs White Paper issued in 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) has introduced Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) across England to give employers a stronger voice in shaping local provision.

The LSIP will outline actionable priorities to meet the needs of employers. In turn, this will bridge skills gaps, help local businesses to thrive, and have a lasting, positive impact on the economy.

Employer Representative Bodies (ERBs) have been designated by the DfE – 38 in total – to develop the LSIP for their area.

Oldham College is working with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, which is the ERB for Greater Manchester.

We have recently had meaningful discussions with employers across industry through our Employer Advisory Boards (EABs). Findings from these EABs will be used to inform planning, development and delivery decisions, as well as to make the most efficient use of provision already available.

Initial findings from LSIP survey responses collected between Oct-Nov 2022 were:

  • Recruitment is challenging for businesses in Greater Manchester.
  • Employees have ‘specialist skills and knowledge’ gaps as well as a lack of ‘basic IT skills’.
  • Staff are not adequately trained in Business Leadership and Management or in Digital Marketing.

The report is with the Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan for approval and publication. Once approved, the plan will be put into action, with a further review in 2025.

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