Friday, February 3, 2023

East Yorkshire employers pool knowledge to tackle skills shortage

Employers across East Yorkshire are helping to tackle skills shortages by sharing their experiences of recruiting new people and training their teams.

Many large and small businesses have already responded to a survey from the Hull and East Yorkshire Local Skills Improvement Plans, and others are being asked to submit their feedback by the closing date of Tuesday 31 January.

The findings, coupled with a programme of focus group events, will help to identify the business sectors which should be the top priorities for skills development in the region. The responses will also help the LSIP team complete the make-up of its board, with several places still to be allocated.

The government has introduced 38 LSIPs nationwide under the leadership of various business support organisations, with Chambers of Commerce leading 32 of the new bodies.

Hannah Crookes, Manager of HEY LSIP at the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, said experienced people from business organisations, local authorities and the education and training sector were already on the board, and representatives of private sector businesses would be added, one of whom would be appointed as chair.

In addition to conducting the survey, HEY LSIP is inviting businesses to join a series of virtual events which will raise awareness of its work and explore priority sectors.

The first event at 9am on Thursday this week will introduce the LSIP and give businesses the opportunity to discuss skills gaps and development. The second event at 1pm on Thursday 26 January will focus on transferable skills.

Sector focus groups will begin next Monday with ports, logistics and warehousing, with a session for manufacturing, engineering and construction on Tuesday 31 January.

The service sector including digital will be discussed on the morning of Wednesday 1 February with the rural economy and tourism the subject for that afternoon. Health and social care and medicare will be explored on Thursday 2 February.

Businesses can find out more about the events and book their places by sending an email to Patricia Whiting at p.whiting@hull-humber-chamber.co.uk

Hannah said: “The LSIP will only be successful if employers play as full a part as possible. That starts with sharing expertise and experience about the challenges around recruiting and training as well as opinions on what needs to change.

“The survey, which can be completed electronically, gives a great opportunity to do that. We have received excellent insight from major employers and from small firms who make up the vast majority of our business community. We hope to hear from many more before the closing date and we will use their input to make our work as relevant as possible to their needs.”

One of the first businesses to complete the survey was AA Global Language Services, which was formed more than 30 years ago in Worcester and expanded to Hull12 years ago.

Kirk Akdemir, CEO of AA Global, said: “We completed the survey and we also had a discussion about the challenges faced by employers and employees alike following the pandemic and in the current economic climate, particularly the issues and opportunities around remote and hybrid working.

“We also looked at the challenges faced by young people entering the world of work following the pandemic due to the reductions in their formal education in a classroom environment, and the impact of social isolation.

“LSIPs have the potential to help employers tackle the problems presented by staff and skills shortages but it’s important that they are dealing with real-world experiences so it’s vital for businesses get involved.”

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