South Yorkshire Skills for Recovery Report Launched
Commissioned by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the report has been produced using original survey data from the Chambers of Commerce in South Yorkshire, combined with content from a series of focus groups within key sectors.
Key findings include:
- The economy is in a strong position for growth over the coming 12-18 months, however, a lack of skills to meet demand may act as a brake on that growth and put the region at a disadvantage compared to elsewhere in the country.
- Some sectors in the region suffer as a result of competition for skills from other areas – particularly Manchester and London. Businesses believe this to be exacerbated by regional infrastructure – particularly intra-regional road and rail connections – which can make it difficult to access work across the SCR.
- Businesses are seeing both a challenge and an opportunity from new ways of working. This can include remote working as well as part-time/flexible working, which can open a new workforce in terms of diversity and geography.
- The skills landscape is deemed by businesses to be cluttered, with many different initiatives often targeting similar areas of skills shortage. This can make it difficult for businesses to navigate, particularly smaller organisations. However, there are a number of positive experiences where businesses have been able to access support.
- Young people are frequently leaving education with weaknesses in the ‘softer’ skills required to succeed in business, for example creativity and communication. Businesses are willing to support in improving this, however, are not universally clear on the best approach.
- There are many good examples of positive relationships between businesses and individual educational providers. These have often been set up on an individual basis, following personal links between organisations, and as a result are patchy across the region.
As the economy recovers there is a continued requirement for a coordinated and responsive approach to skills provision across South Yorkshire.