Somerset businesses invited to be part of the future of skills at LSIP launch event


Employers across Somerset are being invited to be part of a new plan for skills and the workforce of the future at a launch event for the county’s Local Skills Improvement Plan.

The event, on Wednesday 11 January 2023, will introduce businesses and organisations to the Devon and Somerset Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP).

Employers will hear how the LSIP will give them the important opportunity to have their say on the future of the skills provision in Somerset, and the skills business needs in the future. 

The region’s LSIP is being jointly led by Somerset of Commerce with Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce in a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for our region to produce a skilled workforce better matched to the needs of business.

The launch event is being held at Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club on Wednesday 11 January from 8.30-10am. To confirm your attendance, please email Dayna Bee at

Emma Rawlings, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber, said: “Our Local Skills Improvement Plan is all about placing employers at the heart of defining local skills needs, and it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Somerset and Devon businesses to have their say.

“The in-depth findings of this work will help us to ensure skills delivered by our universities, colleges and training providers match what businesses require for the future.

“We look forward to welcoming businesses from across the county to introduce them to how they can be involved in this crucial project.

“We have been hearing the region’s businesses say they are being held back by a lack of skilled staff and the right courses to train existing employees – this Plan offers the opportunity for employers to have their say and shape the skills provision of the future.”

The Devon and Somerset LSIP team will work with universities, colleges and training providers to ensure the voice of employers is at the forefront of a skills agenda that meets the needs of our economies.

A series of events and engagement opportunities for early 2023 are being organised by the two Chambers across both counties – starting with the launch event in Somerset. More dates and locations will be released shortly.

Details will be advertised at the dedicated website where employers can also get in touch to find out more information about being involved and sign up for more information.

Helen Hart, project lead for Devon and Somerset LSIP, said: “This is a huge undertaking – both Chambers have been hearing from businesses for many years about how there are not enough of the right sort of skills in the local workforce.

“This is about working with employers and skills providers to readdress that balance. Filling skills gaps is vital for our future prosperity and for giving young people the best chance possible of a successful career in our region.”

The Devon and Somerset LSIP hopes to reach thousands of businesses in the coming months in an unprecedented engagement drive.

Together, the two Chambers are the designated Employer Representative Body tasked with developing and delivering the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Devon and Somerset. Funded by the Department for Education, one of the first steps is understanding why businesses struggle to recruit and which skills are in short supply.

Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is not just simply a survey to produce another report about skills. This is about addressing the skills gaps that hold our region back – particularly at a time when businesses are struggling with rising costs and cannot afford to invest in skills themselves.

“They need access to a market ready to work – we need to plan for the future so that when businesses are ready to grow again there’s a workforce ready to meet the demand.”

Employers can visit for more information about the Local Skills Improvement Plan.