Dorset LEP Skills Board

Dorset LEP Skills Board (‘the Skills Board’ or ‘the Board’) is a voluntary partnership established at the invitation of the Government to act as a strategic body raising productivity and stimulating economic growth through Dorset’s human capital, in support of the aspirations of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) expressed in its strategic documents.

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The Skills Board has been replaced in our new governance structure by our Skills Advisory Panel & Board

The below information provides a historic record of the objectives and focus of the Skills Board which, until Autumn 2019, provided strategic leadership and oversight to improve skills and employment opportunities across Dorset.

It seeks to develop a flexible and adaptable workforce to better meet future skills needs whilst increasing the proportion of high-productivity, knowledge-intensive jobs.

Dorset LEP Skills Board will: 

  • Align  its activity with Dorset LEP’s ‘People’ strategy and other relevant strategic priorities including the local Industrial Strategy
  • Establish the Skills Board as skills adviser to the Dorset LEP main board
  •  Listen to the employment voice through close working with the Dorset LEP Business Forum and other targeted employer consultations and dialogue
  •  Establish and govern the work of its sub groups as needed

Dorset LEP Skills Board also supports:

13% of Dorset’s £2.5 billion productivity gap is directly attributable to low skills and a further 19% to enterprise which includes business start-ups and survival. The productivity puzzle in Dorset is a result of having ‘too many low value jobs in a weak investment cycle’ (Prof Nigel Jump, Dorset LEP Business Conference, 13 April 2018).  To help address that the Skills Board will prioritise the following:

  • argue the case for further capital investment in our Higher and Further Education institutions to raise productivity in our priority sectors
  • make the case for investment to support the Skills Board’s strategic aims and ambitions ( including lobbying for devolution or ring-fencing of skills and adult education budgets or unused local Apprenticeship Levy funds;  skills  investment in disadvantaged areas of Weymouth and Portland, rural areas and certain wards in the conurbation) in order to  raise productivity, aspiration and social mobility
  •  use our emerging Local Industrial Strategy to inform skills investment and leverage funding locally, regionally and nationally to stimulate high value-added jobs
  • raise productivity through long-term sustainable investment in the right skills
  •  collaborate with other LEPs to share approaches, strengthen lobbying for funding and present a common voice on shared skills issues across the South East, South West and South Coast
  •  strategically plan for the skills needs of the area taking into account relevant policy, labour market information and the changing employment landscape and provision needed.
  •  foster co-operation between providers in mix of provision and actively work with providers to plan for how skills needs are to be met through their curriculum and other means to educate for work and enterprise including apprenticeships
  • support people into work including career changers and older workers in line with Fuller Working Lives national strategy
  • strengthen consultation with employers through Dorset LEP Business Forum and other relevant organisations to develop new solutions to upskilling, focusing on the future employment landscape to better respond to skills needs in employed and self-employed settings 
  • encourage every school and college to provide young people with the best possible careers advice and experience of the workplace.  Work closely with careers advisory services including National Careers Service to ensure learners are informed about careers routes. Strategic governance of Careers and Enterprise Programmes including Dorset Enterprise Adviser Network.
  • provide leadership to encourage highly collaborative partnerships to increase experimentation in skills investments which raise productivity and develop solutions to growing challenges in recruitment for construction and with graduate retention more widely ( for example Digital Skills Partnership).