Meet the Local Skills Improvement Plan Team - Lauren I.Holmes

Aneta Mikesova
Marketing Executive
22nd February 2024

Lauren is the Business Engagement Lead in our Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) team. She is the key link between businesses and skills providers and is responsible for gathering intelligence from businesses on their future skills needs, plus assisting with analysis and interpretation of the data captured.

We caught up with Lauren to learn more about her role and what her perfect Sunday would be.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career background?

I’ve been working at Business West in the LSIP team since October 2021. before that I used to work in Business Banking at HSBC, where I started off an an apprentice. I live in Exeter and enjoy the flexible, hybrid nature of the role. 

What are the 3 key aims of your day-to-day work?

I'd say my 3 key aims of the work I do are:

  • Business engagement and supervising the engagement team
  • Event facilitation 
  • Working alongside stakeholders 

Why do you think businesses should get involved with the LSIP?

This research project is funded by the Department for Education, with a primary goal to ensure post-16 technical education and career pathways are aligned with the region’s workforce needs. The project provides a unique opportunity for businesses to have their say which will directly shape provision going forwards as our findings will inform how the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) will be invested. 

What help and skills support are your team able to offer businesses as part of your role?

We can signpost businesses to anything related to skills/courses/training/funding, within the three regions where we deliver the LSIPs (Gloucestershire, West of England and Swindon & Wiltshire) and to our own Business West departments. 

How can businesses get involved with the LSIP?

By having a 1-2-1 discussion with someone in the engagement team, attending an LSIP event or if you simply don’t have the time for either, sending over any thoughts to us in an email.

What is one of the most surprising bits of information you’ve come across during your research so far?

There have been a few occasions whereby unless you are speaking to the company’s Sustainability Lead/Officer, then they are often unaware of the company’s sustainability goals and in turn what they are doing to achieve them, in some cases not knowing if they even have a Sustainability Plan in the first place! 

Tell us about your perfect Sunday – what would it involve?

Surfing followed by a beach BBQ!


Book an interview with Lauren as part of our ongoing LSIP research. These sessions cover vital topics based on insights from businesses that have already engaged with us so far. During the 1-2-1, you can work through our thematic question routes, discussing topics such as:

  • Successful Technology and Digital Adoption 
  • Sustainable Production 
  • Digital and Design Engineering 
  • Retrofit and Decarbonisation 
    and many more that you can find here.


Do you want to join the conversation?

Sign up here
  • Book a 1-2-1 discussion

    Chat with one of our Business Engagement Executives about skills needs in your business.

  • Get Involved with the Local Skills Improvement Plans

    Ensure your future workforce has the skills your business needs to thrive. Voice your opinion today in the Business West Local Skills Improvement Plans.

  • Meet the team

    Find out more about the team behind the Local Skills Improvement Plan.