An organisation representing local businesses has been appointed to lead a project to determine the county’s employment skills needs.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce will lead the ‘local skills improvement plan’ (LSIP), a plan that will illustrate what the county needs in terms of jobs, which will make the supply of technical education and skills training better-tuned for the changing needs of employers and the local economy going forward.

The Chamber has been tasked with producing an LSIP for Cumbria this year and continuing to refresh, build on, and implement the plan over the following two years.

This follows on from the Chamber’s delivery of an LSIP trailblazer pilot earlier this year which involved talking with hundreds of employers across Cumbria, employer bodies, providers and other stakeholders.

Some of the big names they engaged with include: Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, CBI, CITB, CLA, Cumbria Tourism, The Farmer Network and the National Farmers’ Union.

The Chamber’s LSIP will seek to build on the work done during the trailblazer pilot by finding out and clearly showing what employers need and what issues they are facing, as well as setting out how these needs and issues can be addressed.

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to take this forward, working with employers, partners, and wider stakeholders, and looking forward to doing that.

“The pilot was a great success.

“A good number of the actions identified have already been implemented or are underway – some before the report was even finished in March, and stakeholders are continuing with that.

“That in itself speaks volumes about Cumbria, the practicality and commitment of Cumbria’s people and what we can achieve working together.

“The national rollout gives us all a valuable opportunity to build on what we started in the pilot, going into more depth and expanding the sectors covered.”

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