Major skills improvement plan for Kent approved

Kent & Medway’s Local Skills Improvement Plan 2023 (LSIP), the employer-focused skills initiative, has been approved by The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education.

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce acted as the government’s designated Employer Representative Body and led on the plan, which is designed to address skills needs and shortages and will enable further collaborative working and joint initiatives.

The Chamber worked closely with a range of employers, sector and trade groups, and other stakeholders to bring together the key elements of the region’s short and long-term skills needs.

The announcement follows the work of the Chamber after it was appointed last year by the government to be one of eight national trailblazers designed to influence the local skills agenda in partnership with the county’s Further Education colleges. It also builds on the work of the Kent & Medway Employment Taskforce and other regional skills analysis.

The leaders of the local Further Education colleges, Graham Razey, OBE, David Gleed and Simon Cook, also back the new LSIP.

Jo James OBE, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “Ensuring the needs of Kent and Medway businesses are at the heart of the skills conversation is vital. This plan strengthens collaboration between education providers and employers.

“By listening to the needs of business, we can take a proactive approach with providers and stakeholders to address the day-to-day skills challenges and make a meaningful difference to the future prosperity of the region.”

The Chamber will lead the plan over the next two years, driving initiatives with the support of strategic partners across the region, including independent training providers through KATO, Higher Education institutions, the National Career Service (CXK) and the Careers Hub (The Education People), as well as the local and regional authorities and Further Education providers.

Jo added: “LSIPs have been developed as a valuable tool for improving the skills system in England, with Kent and Medway at the forefront.

“By working together, employers, training providers and other stakeholders can ensure the workforce has the skills the region needs to succeed in the 21st-century economy.”

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