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Somerset Chamber of Commerce to help employers and trainers bridge the skills gap

Somerset Chamber of Commerce will ensure local employers are at the heart of the learning and skills system as part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) plans to address skills shortages across all industries.

The Chamber is working with the DfE on the development and delivery of its Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) in the county which will build stronger, more dynamic partnerships between employers and further education providers.

The aim is to create a more responsive education and training system to meet the needs of employers across Somerset.

Emma Rawlings, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “LSIPs are an exciting opportunity to bring together employers, training providers and other key stakeholders to identify the key priorities and changes needed in our skills provision locally.

“This will help to ensure post-16 technical education and training is more closely aligned to local employer and labour market needs in the future.

“We are looking forward to driving this important agenda forward with our partners to ensure the LSIP is fully representative of the needs of our region’s businesses and young people entering employment while ensuring that our further education providers can be truly responsive to their future needs.”

Somerset Chamber is one of 32 Accredited Chambers of Commerce which will lead LSIPs across the country, supported by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Jane Gratton, from the BCC, said: “We are delighted that so many Accredited Chambers have been designated by the Secretary of State. The Chamber Network will use its convening power and deep knowledge of their local economies and communities to develop clear plans to address skills challenges faced by businesses.

“This is an opportunity for employers to shape how their current and future workforce can access the right training to thrive in the modern, more digital and greener workplace.

“More than 10,000 businesses were engaged in the eight Chamber-led trailblazers. Building on this learning and success, we will ensure that planning for local skills is aligned with the job opportunities and growth ambitions of employers. An efficient, network approach will enable the sharing of best practice to boost outcomes for people wherever they live, work and train.”

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