May e-Bulletin

Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of this e-bulletin, updating you on development of the Essex LSIP. Further information is available on our website and you can also email us at This update includes general skills news, so please get in touch if you have any to share.


LSIP – Skills Priorities now available


In recent months and weeks, a lot of engagement has been happening through the roundtable discussions and business survey. The Essex Chamber of Commerce concluded roundtable discussions with employers and providers in March and those findings are now being reviewed and analysed, to help inform the development of the LSIP.

Key sectors for focus have been informed by feedback and data. Further information on these will be produced as accompanying reports to the main LSIP. Priorities and skills highlighted at roundtables, in the survey and endorsed by data have informed initial recommendations for the LSIP (submitted to the DfE) further to the LSIP Board approving them at its March meeting. For now, the broad priorities highlighted were:


  • Essex Skills Priorities – The skills, behaviours and attitudes Essex employers need from staff now and in the future. These included: Soft-skills and behaviours; Basic English, Maths and EOSL (English for Speakers of Other Languages); Digital Skills and “Digitech”; Green Skills; Leadership and Management.
  • Essex Skills System Priorities – The skills system challenges reported by employers. These included; Lack of flexibility in the system; Information, Careers Advice and Guidance (CIAG); tutor shortages and capacity of providers to respond; inclusive employment; barriers to engagement and the wider skills planning system for Essex.
  • Key sectors for focus have been informed by the data and with feedback at the roundtables as to skills needed by employers in those sectors. These include Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Aviation; AgriTech and FoodTech; Community and Voluntary; Construction and the Built Environment; Creative and Cultural; DigiTech; Education (added due to shortages); Health, Social Care and Med Tech; Professional Services; Transport and Logistics.


These priorities and recommendations were reviewed by the DfE and will be included and expanded on within the LSIP report, alongside data and intelligence. Once fully drafted, the LSIP report will be shared with the LSIP Board for approval in mid-May, ahead of submission to the Secretary of State at the end of May ’23.

A final version is due to be published by the DfE in the summer, so that delivery against the plan can commence in the autumn. There is also a new Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) due to be launched (following early market engagement) to help colleges and providers to deliver against the priorities and recommendations identified through the LSIP.


Sector Facts and Figures

The LSIP will include an evidence base and data annex that will contain a wealth of skills and employment data, projected growth and vacancies. Alongside engagement, this will help us establish a clear picture of Essex’s priorities now and in the future and where the gaps are. That data will be available as part of the LSIP.

In the meantime, snapshots of the information we are gathering so far are provided here. Digital and Creative is being highlighted as another priority for Essex’s employers.


Sector Spotlight- Digital and Creative

The digital and creative sector spans 36 different industries within Essex. The sector brings in £1.4Billion to the economy. There are 29,941 jobs in this sector, which sits below the national average. The average wage also sits slightly below the national average at £36,803.

The top 5 occupations within this area are:

  1. Programme and Software developers
  2. IT and Telecommunications professionals
  3. Sales and Retail assistants
  4. IT specialists
  5. Managers and Administration
The last four years has seen growth in the following occupations;
  • Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  • Vocational, Industrial trainers and Instructors
  • IT operations technicians & programmers and software development professionals.


Partner updates and related news


Green Skills Summit – Friday 9th June 2023
With the climate emergency picking up pace, equipping businesses and residents with the skills they need is a priority. The challenges and opportunities across the UK are described well in a “Greening the UK’s Skills” Report which you can access here.

Locally, Essex will be hosting its first ever Green Skills Summit in Chelmsford on Friday 9th June 2023. This is focussed on the skills required to support Essex businesses and upskill Essex residents (current and future employees) for jobs. There will also be plenty of opportunities during the day to network with other businesses and contacts.

Speakers who are being lined up include the University of Essex; Colchester Institute; Wilmott Dixon / ASRU (who run a Decarbonisation/renewals group).

More details to follow.  Please check out Ambitious Essex on LinkedIn.


Chelmsford College unveils its new Construction Facility!
In the March bulletin, the key sector of construction was showcased. Having industry relevant equipment and facilities is a key part of responding to sector needs and it’s therefore very positive that Chelmsford College have now launched a completely new, purpose-built construction facility, which you can read more about here.

This has been funded by the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Chelmsford College’s Centre for Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) and is located at its Princes Road Campus.

This excellent facility will support the college deliver their Technical Level (T Level) ambitions in Design, Surveying and Planning and Construction. It will provide some much-needed practical experience when training. It will also support digital technology, including a dedicated computer-aided laboratory, virtual/augmented reality, rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Exciting times ahead!

It’s not too late to contact us. There is an enquiry form for those who are keen to get involved. Please click here to complete and return it to us. This will let us know if you are keen to attend future engagement events, take part in discussions, or receive our regular e-bulletin.

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