Liverpool City Region Chambers of Commerce work together to help businesses access the skills they need

02 Sep 2022

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Liverpool City Region’s five Chambers of Commerce are coming together to help give businesses across the Region a voice and strengthen the partnership between employers and training providers through Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs).

LSIPs put employers at the centre of the skills system, allowing training provider’s provisions to be more responsive to the skills needs of employers.

Tracy Mawson, Chief Executive of St Helens Chamber, explained: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this contract. LCR Chambers of Commerce form the largest and most active business network in the Region. We have the perfect combination of deep rooted connections in the local business community, and influence on policy at the most senior level too.

“All of the Chambers involved are Social Enterprises and our core role is to engage with businesses so we can understand their needs, represent their views, and improve the business environment. This means we’re well placed to give businesses a voice and ensure that the skills they need are being represented in local training provisions.”

The partnership includes St Helens Chamber, Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, Halton Chamber of Commerce, Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Knowsley Chamber of Commerce.

Each Chamber will be using their close connections with further education colleges and businesses to identify any skills gaps and work to rectify this.

Tracy continued: “Our plan is to establish a Local Skills Board in each area, led by the Chamber, which will strengthen strategic planning of local skills and provide a forum for direct communication of employer needs and local growth opportunities.

“We have already seen success in this area; for example, collaboration between Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Wirral Met College has resulted in enhancements to curriculum for the Built Environment, and partnership working with companies such as Morgan Sindall have allowed young people to develop qualifications that support employment within the Wirral Waters development.”

The LSIPs will allow the Chamber partnership to be a driver for change. The Chambers hope that the project will encourage more employers to liaise with the skills system and foster constructive dialogue from businesses.

These valuable insights will allow skills training providers to learn, adapt and be more responsive to the needs of their local business community and will allow each Chamber to lobby on behalf of skills providers and employers and influence local priorities.

Tracy explained: “The Chamber’s senior leaders already engage effectively with stakeholders and have long-standing relationships with senior leadership and political leads.

“We meet regularly with the most senior levels of our Combined Authority and LEP, and use our position and influence to develop and deliver to local priorities – and we will be using these connections to support the LSIPs too.”

One such business who has benefited already from Chamber support in accessing the exact skills training they needed was GPW Recruitment.

Gary Ward, GPW Recruitment, commented: “GPW Recruitment has worked with St Helens Chamber for over 10 years to ensure that our existing staff have the most up to date skillsets.  St Helens Chamber is our go-to when training our staff, so we are delighted they are taking on this strategic role for our area.

“We look forward to the Chambers working with businesses across Liverpool City Region, reflecting our views into the Local Skills Improvement Plan, and making sure we can secure the training we need for our colleagues and new recruits.”

To find out more about the LSIP, or to get your business involved, please contact info@sthelenschamber.com or visit the Liverpool Chambers of Commerce website which will have regular updates on all partnership projects at https://www.lcrchambersofcommerce.co.uk/