Invest in South Yorkshire and it will lead the way for England on skills, say Chambers of Commerce

28th May 2021

Organisations from across South Yorkshire unite to submit bid to government to become a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) trailblazer.

Chambers have assembled a powerful coalition to deliver the skills businesses need to grow in the post-COVID era. They are committed to a joint plan, submitted to government, that if successful will unlock £4 million to train and place skilled workers.

Though Chamber-led, the range of supporters backing the bid is broad and includes other business networks like the Federation of Small Businesses. The Chambers have also been backed by Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, and the major training and education providers of the region, including further education colleges and universities. The ‘LSIP’ plan would see these vital players in the South Yorkshire economy work more closely together than ever before to deliver on the skills needs of business.

As a showcase and pilot programme it would make waves beyond this region. It will be closely watched by other areas across the country keen to understand how a ‘South Yorkshire Solution’ could be the key to addressing their own skills challenges.

Louisa Harrison-Walker, Joint Executive Director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We have been delighted with the level of support and engagement we have received through the process of creating this bid. All partners and stakeholders see its value and are committed to working together to transform our approach to skills development.”

“Through this bid, we are placing businesses at the heart of how we develop a more skilled workforce. Our bid is focussed on building existing, successful business and education engagement networks to drive real growth and change. It will create opportunities to leverage the potential for employees, employers, and the economy.”

Dan Fell, Chief Executive Officer at Doncaster Chamber, continued:

“South Yorkshire has come together seize this opportunity. We are confident that the region’s Chambers, with the support and engagement of partners, has crafted a compelling proposition for South Yorkshire to become a LSIP trailblazer.”

“The government now has a real opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to levelling up South Yorkshire by selecting us to be one of the trailblazers. If we are granted the status, we can hit the ground running.”

Sam Chapman, Chief Innovation Officer at The Floow Limited, added:

“The need for skilled workers, particularly in the digital sector, is growing. Companies like ours are in the centre of a regional digital cluster that has the potential to have a huge impact on the growth of the economy. That said, the primary difficulty we face is access to a skilled workforce, with the technical expertise to deliver what is needed.

“This bid has the potential to address and support this issue. It will provide an increased opportunity for us to engage with the region’s education and skills system, and tailor the skills provision to support local businesses.

“We are wholeheartedly in support, and it is fantastic to see partnerships like this coming together for the benefit of the region.”

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