LSIP team leads creative roundtable

Fay Daniels
Marketing Manager - Contracts | Business West
16th May 2024

Recently the Business West Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) team were the first of the LSIP teams nationwide to chair a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Creative Priority LSIP roundtable, on behalf of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Chaired and led by Projects and Events Manager, Chloe Stockwell, from Business West, the hour-long online roundtable focused on the theme of employer engagement and highlighted the great collaboration in the West of England throughout the creative sector, with input from Head of Skills Planning at Business West, Matt Tudge, the West of England Combined Authority and Bristol Creative Industries. 

Sarah James, Cultural and Creative Programme Lead, Nona Hunter, Creative Industries Senior Project Manager and Jane Vivian, Employment and Skills Programme Manager, all from the West of England Combined Authority kicked off the guest speaker presentations and spoke about how they’ve been working with the West of England LSIP team, aiming to simplify the skills system in the region and introducing skills bootcamps answering some the skills gaps mentioned by employers through the LSIP research.

 One of the ways they are looking to simplify the skills system is with the introduction of Skills Connect, a hub for people to discover skills, training and career support to help them get to where they want to be. It's a platform that the West of England LSIP team has been utilising over the past few months! There has also been the introduction of skills bootcamps, covering subjects such as film and TV, production and leadership and management. 

Following a presentation from the West of England Combined Authority, Heather Wright, Co-Chair at Bristol Creative Industries spoke about the organisation’s Creative Force to Be Reckoned With Report, shared what BCI members and employers are saying they need from creative industries, and discussed the collaborative ecosystem in the West of England.

 A group discussion brought the session to a close, which focused on the challenges and complexity of the skills landscape and the networks and tools various attendees used to address this. Two points that were brought to attention included potential for ‘a single front door’ for all regional production and skills hubs, perhaps via a single website and an AI-driven system matching employers and applicants which should be ready later this year. DCMS also shared that it funds the Discover! Creative Careers programme to tackle information and coordination barriers to providing specialist information, advice and guidance about creative careers to young people. 

Moving forward, future creative roundtables will be voluntarily chaired by each LSIP region and the LSIP team at Business West will continue to meet with DCMS and have monthly meetings with other LSIP Project Managers, to ensure collaboration across the country.  

Chloe Stockwell, Project and Events Manager commented, "Working alongside DCMS has been an absolute pleasure, both for this webinar and providing feedback for the entire series. We're truly grateful for the opportunity to lead the inaugural session, showcasing the incredible collaborative spirit and outstanding employers in the West of England. It’s great to see DCMS's dedication to the LSIPs, highlighting their value in bridging the gap between skills demand and provision for the benefit of each region. It is also fantastic to have the Department for Education join us on the call, listening attentively to everyone’s input and taking on board what everyone has to say. Looking ahead, we're excited about the continued collaboration with DCMS and the potential for even more exciting opportunities on the horizon." 

Business West deliver the Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) for Gloucestershire, Swindon & Wiltshire and the West of England.  

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