Why do we need a Local Industrial Strategy?
In 2017, the Government’s White Paper ‘Industrial Strategy – Building a Britain fit for the future’ set out a policy framework against which major private and public sector investment decisions would be made. The Industrial Strategy confirmed the Government’s intention to agree Local Industrial Strategies that build on local strengths and deliver on economic opportunities.
The Industrial Strategy stated that Government would work to strengthen Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and committed to supporting the development and delivery of their Local Industrial Strategies.
In October 2018, the Government published its ‘Local Industrial Strategies Policy Prospectus’ which made clear that LISs will be long-term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the national Industrial Strategy. They should set out clearly defined priorities for how cities, towns and rural areas will maximise their contribution to UK productivity and allow places to make the most of their distinctive strengths.
A key initiative under the Government’s Industrial Strategy is the development of Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) to address mismatches between skills supply and employer demand more effectively. The aim of SAPs is to support new local partnerships comprising of local employers, skills providers and local government to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs, and to work together to understand and address key local challenges.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP has been included within the third wave of LEPs required to develop their Local Industrial Strategy. We will progress the development of our strategy over the course of 2019, culminating in a strong draft LIS for consultation in December 2019.