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What does LSIP stand for?

What is an LSIP?

A local skills improvement plan (LSIP) tries to align post-16 education and training with the most urgent needs of the local job market. The goal is to stimulate local economic growth by making the local workforce more employable, giving people the skills they need to get the available jobs.

Why do we need them?

Education and training provisions vary enormously across different regions of the country (see here), as do labour markets and the skills they demand. Because of this, deciding the most effective strategies to improve skills and meet labour demands is a complex task. An LSIP tackles this problem by focusing on a specific region, rather than the entire country. It aims to establish which jobs are available, and how to better provide people with the skills to get those jobs. This can be achieved in several ways: by aligning with existing skills strategies, dialogue with local employers, and, most importantly, evidence-based decisions.

How does it work?

An LSIP is broken down into 3 stages:

  1. Find out where the skills gaps are. 
  2. Increase the provision of those skills. 
  3. Increase the demand for those skills to match the supply. 

An LSIP runs for three years in a given area and is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the improvement plans remain relevant to the skills needs. Another key component is consideration of the skills needed for jobs that help reach net zero and climate change targets.

How is Open Innovations Involved?

We are working with the West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce (WNYCC) to help with the first stage - identifying the skills gaps. To understand the skills gap, we need to understand where the gaps are and why they exist in the first place. This means collating data on education, training, and the job market across West and North Yorkshire.

We have harvested relevant data that will help us answer questions about the skills gap from four sources:

  • Department for Education Statistics (school and further education)
  • Higher Education Statistics Agency (universities)
  • Office for National Statistics (via NOMIS) (employment and business data)
  • The Data City (including Lightcast data) (individual company-level data and job advertisement/skills data)
The data we have collected has hundreds of measurable variables (facts). For example, the percentage of pupils achieving the English baccalaureate, percentage of students taking 3 or more A-Level STEM subjects, UK higher education institution attended, and employment by occupation and ethnic group. By comparing these facts across different geographies in West and North Yorkshire, we can identify key skills gaps, and inform decision-making and investment policies.

Our work so far

Over the last few months, we have been building a microsite that enables quick, automated visualization of the key datasets, with a focus on 16-18 studies, further education, and apprenticeships. This will help the WYNCC better understand where the skills gaps are, what might be causing them, and which areas to target with the LSIP.

LSIP Homepage
Credit: Open Innovations

The site was built to be transparent, easy to navigate, and visualise data in the simplest yet most informative way possible. We have avoided visually over-stimulating figures that do not convey much information, or have undefined variables and data sources. Instead, we have used our in-house library of interactive bar and line charts, tree and hex maps, and basic tables and statistics.

Example Visualisations
Credit: Open Innovations
There are links to the datasets we have used and we have tried to explain any confusing or technical terms where relevant. Included in the site is a metadata catalogue that describes the data that has been collected to drive the visualisations. We hope that this will make it easier for those making important decisions to quickly extract information and avoid spending time trying to interpret confusing charts. It also allows others to complete further analysis of the data we collected.

Working in the open this way allows us to work quickly and collaboratively, and lets others learn from our successes and failures. The site is still in development with new updates being added every week. The GitHub repo with the raw data, pipeline processing, and site build is openly available. We’d love to hear any feedback you have; you can email the WNYCC at or Open Innovations at