Across England, 32 accredited Chambers of Commerce are bringing together businesses, training providers, funders and a wide range of local stakeholders to plan for the skills needed to boost local economies and improve opportunities for individuals.
The West Midlands Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) aims to shape the future of skills provision across the region for years to come. The idea is to place employers at the heart of local skills systems and facilitate direct and dynamic working arrangements between employers and skills providers.
In September 2022, Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce partnered to secure the delivery of the West Midlands LSIP for the region.
The West Midlands LSIP will provide an agreed set of priorities that employers, providers and stakeholders in the region can get behind to drive change.
As part of the research process the Chambers of Commerce are reaching out to local employers via a series of focus groups in areas of growth identified by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is inviting local businesses to get involved in the initiative. If you are a Black County business owner, all that is required is 90 minutes of your time to share your experience and expertise in an on-line focus group.
The benefits and opportunities the initiative offers businesses involved include meeting new businesses and joining like-minded business people to shape the regional skills policy landscape across several different sectors.
There are five online focus groups taking place, the first being held on Thursday 26 January.
There is no cost involved and the only criteria is that your business is Black Country based and employs two or more people.
The focus groups taking place are:
- Thursday 26 January, 12 – 13.30pm – Professional and financial services and supply chain
- Thursday 26 January, 3 – 4.30pm – Manufacturing of electric light vehicles and associated battery storage devices and Aerospace (including manufacturing alternative fuel)
- Friday 27 January, 10 – 11.30am – Logistics and distribution
- Friday 27 January, 12 – 1.30pm – Modern and low carbon utility and manufacturing of future housing
- Monday 30 January, 12 – 1.30pm – Health Technology and Medical Technology
The West Midlands LSIP will explore the cross-cutting themes of digitisation and green skills in each of the areas mentioned.
As part of this process BCCC is looking for businesses from specific sectors and their associated supply chains to share their feedback on topics including:
- The challenges and opportunities associated with digitally upskilling employees in your sector
- Understanding the current and future skills needs of businesses in your sector across the areas of low carbon, clean growth and net zero
- The additional support you would like to see from local and national stakeholders to drive the development of digital and green skills in your sector.
If you or your Black Country business would like to take part in one of the focus groups please contact Jan Denning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Local Skills Improvement Plans visit the British Chambers of Commerce website.