Applications have opened to pilot new Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) in eight local ‘trailblazer’ areas.
LSIPs were confirmed as a new, business-led approach to prioritising skills provision in local areas in the Skills for Jobs Further Education White Paper, published in January.
Bids must be led by an established employer representative body. While not open to councils, they can play a useful role in forging links between employer and further education providers.
Applications are also live for a Strategic Development Fund, to explore how providers can work together more effectively, alongside employers and other partners, to respond to local skills priorities. This will be piloted in between 12 and 16 areas, which will include the LSIP trailblazer areas. Local authority providers are listed as an eligible provider.
Meanwhile, following an announcement in the Budget in March, the Government has launched a consultation into flexi-job apprenticeships.
This initiative is targeted at employers within certain sectors (including creative industries, digital and construction) to take on apprentices, so they can move more easily from one employer to another.
The consultation seeks views on how flexi-job apprenticeships could work in practice and the future role of apprenticeship training agencies, which continue to be used by councils.
See www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education for more information and to respond to the consultation. Please share your thoughts with the LGA by emailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.