Have you added your views yet to our top-level research project which will shape the future of skills training?

The second stage of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) is now under way, to gain a greater understanding of skills and training requirements across the Marches area.

The project feeds directly into Government decision-makers and is being led by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, working in partnership with Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

It aims to help education providers and public sector bodies place the voice of employers at the forefront when future skills training priorities are being debated.

Organisers want as many employers as possible to step forward over the coming months, to ensure all views are fully and accurately represented.

Rosie Beswick, project manager for the Marches Local Skills Improvement Plan, said: “The LSIP is all about building a clear picture of what employers want and need over the next 10 to 15 years.

“We are particularly targeting sectors such as engineering, manufacturing, food production, professional services, construction, environmental technologies, and health & social care – but the views of all businesses, of any size, are welcome.”

From the first phase of the research, employers raised concerns around gaps in work-ready ‘soft skills’ including basic professional use of email, Word and Excel.

The second stage of the LSIP research is now taking a deeper dive into some of these issues. Views already expressed include:

  • “The biggest struggle is recruiting technical roles and finding trained technicians for motor vehicles. There is a shortage of technical/mechanical vehicle skills locally, especially in the market towns.” – A large engineering company in Telford.
  • “People are leaving for jobs in other sectors and not returning. When a company loses a full-time member of staff, they are having to recruit up to three part-time staff to cover the workload and there are not enough people to recruit at this volume.” – A health and social care company in Shropshire
  • “There is a small pool to recruit from. We’re not seeing younger people coming through. Our trainer cannot get apprentices for us, either for warehouse or administration roles.” – A large warehousing company in Herefordshire

 Rosie said: “You may agree or disagree with these comments – but either way we want to hear from you.

“All research is anonymous and confidential. By taking part you will be helping to support those giving careers advice and signpost employers to the vast array of local providers who can support their staff development.

“In the process, we hope it will also help to narrow a perceived cultural divide which sometimes exists between employers on the one hand, and training providers on the other.

“Data generated by the LSIP will not only be a useful tool for lobbying purposes, but will also enable training providers to make much more informed decisions about the needs of the business community over the next decade and beyond.

“The end goal is to ensure that businesses can find the skills they need, that training is understood and focused, and that companies can prosper and grow for the benefit of all.”

The Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper has put employers firmly at the core of the skills agenda for post-16 education - a stance welcomed by the business world.

  • For more details, or to contribute to the second stage of the LSIP research, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. call the Shropshire Chamber team on 01952 208200.
  • The full stage one LSIP report can be found here