InvestSK Skills

Training Providers Get Insight into Skills Needs of Businesses

 Training and education providers in South Kesteven met in Bourne last week to find out about the skills and training needs for the existing and future workforce.

The South Kesteven Vocational Skills Forum at Bourne Corn Exchange on 13th November was organised by InvestSK, South Kesteven District Council’s growth and regeneration company, and InvestSK Skillsattracted 45 people.

InvestSK has done a lot of work engaging with local businesses to understand their current and potential skills needs. This event provided an opportunity for the wider network of training and education providers to come together in their own right to see how they can collaborate, and identify common challenges and opportunities, to meet those economic needs.

InvestSK will build on feedback from the session to inform its engagement with business, and continues to call on businesses in South Kesteven to get in touch to discuss their own skills needs or to ask about apprenticeship support.

Professor Sharon Green from the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach headlined the event. Her presentation focused on the fast-changing nature of businesses – specifically in the important agrifood sector – and the need for training provision to reflect those changes so businesses can access the right skills when they need them.

Nigel Walmsley from Willmott Dixon provided a construction sector focus, offering insight into the changing nature of the building industry and the critical digital skills now required of apprentices to perform traditional construction roles.

“This was a really important and useful event and we were delighted to welcome so many training and education providers to the forum,” said Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of InvestSK.

“Part of our role is to act as a bridge between businesses and educators and help each one to understand the needs of the other. Our major Skills Summit earlier this year brought businesses and providers together, and we’re aiming to repeat that joint approach; but this event was an invaluable way of hearing directly from providers and the challenges they’re facing.

“A key theme that emerged at the event was the fact that job roles and the skills needed to perform them are changing at an unprecedented rate. Two-thirds of children who are in primary school now will be working in jobs when they leave school that don’t even exist yet.

“That’s why businesses and providers of education and training need to be talking to each other to ensure that skills and training provision matches the ever-changing needs of business, and that our workforce is resilient to meet those changes.”

InvestSK agreed to take the lead on exploring a number of initiatives that were raised at the event, including:

  • improve work experience offerings to teachers, students and parents
  • support sector business groups and improve their connections with education and training providers
  • improve awareness and promotion of Higher Level Apprenticeships
  • increase understanding of a range of apprenticeship issues such as levy transfer and apprenticeship sharing


InvestSK will host a Skills Summit in the spring to share progress on these actions and create an environment for businesses and education providers to come together and build relationships.

To talk to InvestSK about the skills needs of your business, or to ask for help with apprenticeships, call 01476 406374 or email