North East Local Skills Improvement Plan is given the green light by the Department for Education

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has confirmed that the final report and recommendations on the North East Local Skills Improvement Plan (NELSIP) submitted to the Department for Education (DfE) at the end of May, have been approved.

The NEAA, which is to deliver the employer-led, local skills plan, across Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland, also confirms that East Durham College has been selected as the lead applicant in the delivery of the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF).

The NEAA has been working closely with education and training providers, employers, key stakeholders and cross-sector employer representative bodies to establish and build an evidence base which has helped to form the final report.

Being employer-led, LSIPs highlight the skills employers need most in the workplace. LSIPs will provide an agreed set of actionable priorities that employers, providers and stakeholders in a local area can get behind to drive change.

The NELSIP focuses on the technical education and training requirements identified by the Nort East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) which have a significant presence in the South of Tyne region.

The following priorities have been put forward in the NELSIP report:

  • Provide essential digital skills required by all learners at the appropriate level. Including upskilling and reskilling support for employers and adult learners and ensuring a work-ready supply of specialist digital skills.
  • Align 16+ technical education and training provision to ensure the key technical skills required by the five LSIP sectors are prioritised.
  • Increase the supply of level 3+ technical skills to meet current and future regional requirements.
  • Collaborate to deliver key technical skills for regional growth.
  • Employer focussed – Enable employers, including SMEs, to identify their technical skill requirements and access high quality technical skills development for their current and future workforce.
  • Prioritise Social Inclusion – aligned approach to enable those from under-represented and disadvantaged groups to develop the skills needed and provide the support required to remove barriers to access good jobs and careers.

A copy of the final report for review can be downloaded from the NELSIP website at Resources – North East Local Skills Improvement Plan (NELSIP)

Paul Butler, chief executive at the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “Thanks to industry support, education and training providers, employer representative bodies and other stakeholders, we have been able to develop a comprehensive skills report that will meet the needs of employers in our region focused on five high impact sectors of digital, advanced manufacturing, construction, health and life science and transport and logistics.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive at Constructing Excellence in the North East, said: “There is a huge issue at the moment, not only in our region but across the UK, when it comes to a shortage of skills. Trying to bring people into the industry in the correct jobs that we actually need to fill this gap, is the most important thing at the moment.

“I was delighted Constructing Excellence in the North East was asked to be involved with NELSIP and working together will be a great leverage for everyone. The LSIP is vital for our sector in particular. Innovation is paramount moving forward, in how we operate and it will give us a better built environment in the future. That means we need to have the correct skill sets to deliver and be able to work with new innovations.”

East Durham College has been selected as the lead provider in the delivery of the LSIF, which will implement the recommendations on the NELSIP final report. The multi-million-pound fund will be used to develop post-16 technical training by upskilling teaching and college leadership and management staff, develop new training programmes and courses, improve college facilities and provide state-of-the-art training equipment. East Durham College will be supported by other colleges within the LSIP region as well as leading independent training providers.

The NEAA and the wider NELSIP team are now developing Phase 2, which will see further engagement with employers, the education sector and key partners and stakeholders in ensuring regional skills needs are addressed.

Those wishing to be involved in this next stage, can contact