Chamber to help businesses through development of groundbreaking new Local Skills Plan

Date: 01/09/2022
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has been appointed by the Department for Education to lead the development of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Greater Manchester.

As the designated Employer Representative Body (ERB), the Chamber will work alongside the business community, training providers and a range of key stakeholders to produce a plan that sets out the current and future skills needs for Greater Manchester, and the changes required to help individuals develop their skills, improve their prospects, and provide businesses with the workforce they need to succeed and prosper. 

The LSIP will be developed from September 2022 until May 2023, then submitted to the Secretary of State for Education for approval and publication. On approval, the plan will be put into practice until a further review in 2025.

Chris Fletcher (pictured), the Chamber’s Policy Director and who will be the project lead, said: “This is a hugely important step forward for all businesses in Greater Manchester as the aim of the LSIP is to put employers at the heart of the skills system creating links with providers to make sure that provision responds to and meets need and demand.  

“In order to produce the plan, we will be encouraging all businesses – large and small and not just our members – to talk to us about their skills needs, about why they can’t recruit and about what needs to happen for them to find the people they need to take their businesses forward. Our position as the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, representing over 4,000 businesses, means that we already have strong links with our members and the business community to enable that to happen but we will have to do much more.”

The project is based on the collection and rapid analysis of data, intelligence and evidence at the local level to provide a very detailed picture of the fast moving GM labour market and ensure that skills provision matches demand at both the local and GM level. The Chamber’s Head of Research Subrahmaniam Krishnan-Harihara will be the lead on this key element of the project.

As well as working alongside the business community of Greater Manchester, the Chamber will also help to forge better links between employers and further education providers.

Chris continued: “Our aim is to be the conduit between the business community and training providers, reinforcing relationships where they exist already, or creating new lines of communication where necessary so that the provision of skills is responsive to the needs of employers. The data and analysis that sit behind this will ensure that employers and providers have the right up to date analysis and evidence to make sure plans are accurate.”

The Chamber is no stranger to delivering skills-based projects. Its Construction Pipeline Analysis heralded a new way of understanding the construction industry’s future workload and the direct impact on the availability of future skills for the sector. The Chamber is also currently a sub-contractor delivering the GMCA’s Skills for Growth programme, part of a £42m ESF funded 3-year programme to upskill and reskill employed people across Greater Manchester.

For more information on the Local Skills Improvement Plan, contact