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58. Local Skills Improvement Plan Case Study

South Yorkshire was selected by the Department for Education (DfE) to be one of eight Trailblazers to determine how best to roll-out Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) across the country.

Led by Doncaster Chamber, in partnership with Sheffield, Barnsley, and Rotherham Chambers, the LSIP places businesses at the centre of the skills agenda to create a skills system which is agile and responsive to employer needs.

Kada was commissioned as research partners by Doncaster Chamber to support the development of the LSIP; a project undertaken in partnership with researchers from the Centre of Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, and Further Education Skills Consultants Eunoia.

The research included quantitative analysis themed by the context, labour market, economic projections, education, and skills, an employer survey, a series of consultation events, stakeholder interviews and sector specific engagement with seven key SY industries. Kada created dedicated a microsite (see here) with resources, reports and updates about the project.

The Kada team worked closely with the Chambers throughout the project and co-designed the research activities and tools. This iterative and flexible approach saw the focus of the LSIP develop its initial priorities to a more holistic vision of skills within the South Yorkshire

The robust evidence base highlighted the skills gaps in South Yorkshire including employability or soft skills (including communication, adaptability and resilience, collaboration, critical thinking, entrepreneurial skills, active listening, and problem solving), digital skills (technical and non-technical), and a range of technical skills (including construction, green skills, engineering, and technology).

The LSIP concluded with a series of bold evidence-based recommendations organised by five themes: navigation, proactive employer engagement, responsive provision, celebrating success, and promoting better pathways.

The South Yorkshire LSIP was submitted to the DfE at the end of March 2022 after a period of refinement. It has now been approved and the DfE is now rolling LSIPs out across the country. The learning and success of the trail blazer LSIP means South Yorkshire is well placed to now deliver the full LSIP.

“The LSIP has highlighted the need for a more collaborative and holistic skills system in South Yorkshire. Education and skills are key tools for tackling social and economic inequalities and equity within the skills system is essential to enable all residents of South Yorkshire to have fulfilling careers and lives.

“The findings from the LSIP highlight the skills challenges faced in South Yorkshire as well as the best practice already happening in the sub-region which the LSIP can build upon.”

-Sophie Negus, Study Manager.

If you would like to discuss a project with the team, contact us via karl.dalgleish@kadaresearch.co.uk or sophie@kadaresearch.co.uk.