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People & skills


From the outset the LEP has been committed to developing 'a well- motivated workforce with the skills that business needs' as a crucial element of its jobs growth strategy. Shortages of skills are one of the most frequently reported barriers to business growth in the West of England.

We need to ensure that the LEP target of 95,000 new jobs created by 2030 growth is not hampered by lack of available skills and that we do not resolve the issues of skills shortage by simply importing what we need from elsewhere.

The LEP Vision to develop a knowledge-based economy in particular will require a workforce with the skills to match. Specifically the West of England LEP will look to address the areas of:

  • Future skills needs for the LEP area
  • Current skills needs and gaps – particularly in the key sectors identified by the LEP
  • How to ensure that individuals are not 'left behind' i.e. improving the employability of local people – especially young people
  • Better matching local skills provision to all of the above

The key tasks we have set ourselves in the short-medium term are:

  • Shape and direct the college offer to employers – we aim to improve the quality, relevance and impact of the most significant providers of initial training and upskilling in our area through its four FE colleges
  • Share labour market intelligence – we aim to improve the extent to which we present a single coherent and usable assessment of business demand to enable providers to respond effectively
  • Improve employability – we aim to focus in particular on ensuring that young people aged 16-24 have the best opportunity to get a job locally and are not hampered by lack of work-readiness skills
  • Supporting business-provider collaboration – the LEP is a business-led body and our aim is to make it easier for businesses to locate, access and invest in training for their business. More specifically, our aim is to create, through the sector groups, the opportunity for business to work alongside providers in developing the provision they need.


Local Sector Skills Statements

The West of England LEP’s skills priorities for key industry sectors are now available to download.

Each of the seven Local Sector Skills Statements for 2017 and 2016 – cover the LEP’s five priority sectors plus Construction & Development and Health & Life Sciences – addresses five priority themes to:

  • Improve careers education, information, advice & guidance
  • Improve the quality and local responsiveness of education and training
  • Increase apprenticeship starts and improve access to higher and degree apprenticeships
  • Engage SMEs to boost productivity and build capacity for growth
  • Promote pathways for employment to enhance equality and diversity in the workforce

To get involved and be part of the solution, please email the West of England Combined Authority team or contact the chair of the relevant LEP Sector Group.

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