Training and upskilling for businesses

Calling West Suffolk businesses – have your say on the Norfolk and Suffolk Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP)

The Norfolk and the Suffolk Chambers of Commerce are working with the Department for Education (DfE) to put employers at the heart of the skills agenda with the launch of the Norfolk and Suffolk Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), and they want businesses to have a bigger say in what skills are needed in the workplace for today, tomorrow and the future.

What will the Norfolk and Suffolk LSIP focus on?

The chambers are aware that across Norfolk and Suffolk there are some great initiatives – but the majority are operating in silos and many employers are not aware of them – we see the LSIP's role is being to support the alignment of this skills activity. We are not wanting to re-invent the wheel and we are aiming to join some of the dots. In other words, how do we enhance what is working well and how do we fill any gaps?

Key sectors and cross cutting themes

We need to concentrate on a couple of key areas for Norfolk and Suffolk and to run cross-cutting themes of workforce digital skills and soft skills. Given the timescales, Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers want to focus on some key sectors where significant impacts can be made quickly, so are looking at a focus in the following areas: agri-tech, food processing sector and climate adaptation, net zero. The chambers have selected these key areas mainly due to the amount of work that has already happened across Norfolk and Suffolk and also as they tie in nicely with work already underway at many of the education providers – so hopefully this means we can enhance what is already happening in our region.

Have your say and get involved

Complete the survey: Norfolk Chambers of Commerce - Norfolk and Suffolk LSIP

Register for one of the roadshow events at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - LSIP Roadshow Bury St Edmunds,& or& view all the events at Norfolk Chambers of Commerce - Norfolk and Suffolk LSIP Roadshow

Skills Bootcamps

Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government's Lifetime Skills Guarantee strategy. Their aim is to:

  • aid businesses to hire people with the skills required, help fill their skills vacancies
  • support individuals who are currently un-employed or returning to work access funded course to develop skills and assist them to find local work
  • provide the self-employed to gain additional skills to help them develop and grow their business
  • provide businesses with targeted training to develop and progress their own employees within the business

Eligibility - the learner

  • Adults 19 + who are full time employed, part-time employed, unemployed, returning to work or self-employed.
  • If the learner is unemployed or self-employed the course is fully funded.
  • If employed - the learner must be directly employed by the employer and not be a sub-contractor or freelancer.

Eligibility - the employer

  • Any employer based in East Anglia can access the funding regardless of size. There are two bands of employer contributions:
  • small to medium enterprises (defined as an employer with less than 250 employees) - 10 per cent.
  • larger than 250 employees - 30 per cent.


New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) have appointed eight providers to deliver the programmes outlines below. The sectors have been determined from research the New Anglia LEP region where vacancies are currently not getting filled due to a lack of skilled staff. Each provider has their own delivery method which includes remote, online, face to face and classroom based. Further details are available on delivery, duration and so on.


  • Unemployed learners - on completion of their course support will be provided to offer them an interview with a local employer who is recruiting
  • Employed learners - the employer must be able to evidence that within a 6-month period the learner has either taken on more responsibilities within the workplace or been promoted.

Find out more at: New Anglia - Skills bootcamps or contact Bev Wallman, Skills Broker, 07384 113189 or

Get tailored skills advice from the Growth Hub

A number of skill development and recruitment programmes are available to employers through the Government’s Plan for Jobs - kickstart, traineeships, apprenticeships, SWAPs, skills bootcamps and more. There are also funded training courses available locally which your business could benefit from. The Growth Hub skills advisers can work with you to look at the requirements you have and the skills your business needs to grow. They will then discuss the options and help you to access the training you need now and in the future. To start your skills conversation, contact the Growth Hub at Please also see the New Anglia Growth Hub - Skills Portal

West Suffolk College logoWest Suffolk College - employers

The college collaborates on the development and delivery of all levels of education and training through apprenticeships, professional short courses (which include ILM management training and gas and oil training and assessment), traineeships and supported internships.

West Suffolk College - employers

Help to Grow courses

There are two Government-backed Help to Grow courses, one on management and the other on digital, that are heavily subsidised and discounts are also available on software costs.

Find out more at Help to Grow - Take your business to the next level

In-Career Education and Training (ICET)

ICET supports small and medium enterprises to access high quality, immersive digital and professional leadership training. A key element of the ICET project is to promote the progression of women in business and digital arenas. SMEs that register and apply to the ICET project, can request 50 per cent of funding towards high level, immersive courses.

Find out more at ICET Project

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce People and Skills Group

Reflecting the growing importance of the 'human element' in securing the county's long-term sustainable prosperity, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has a People and Skills Group (PSG).

For more information on this group, please visit Suffolk Chamber

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