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Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF)

Suffolk New College is leading a major partnership skills project across Norfolk and Suffolk funded by the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) from the Department for Education.

LSIF Logo - Inspire, Invest, Innovate


City College Norwich, the College of West Anglia, East Coast College, and West Suffolk College, together with East Norfolk Sixth Form College and the University of Suffolk are all collaborating with Suffolk New College on the £4.7m project, aiming to transform training opportunities across the region.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce teams are key stakeholders, ensuring the objectives of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Norfolk and Suffolk are met, with the local workforce getting the right skills and training to help businesses thrive.

Running until March 2025, the funding will see investment in equipment, events, teaching and training, enrichment activities for students, employer engagement, and new facilities. Thousands of students and hundreds of businesses will benefit from the investment, which focuses on soft skills, digital and green skills.

A tree with green leaves and blue sky.
Computer code on a computer screen


Key investments funded by LSIF include:


  • Investment in Net Zero technologies and facilities to assist in delivering training in retrofit, renewable heating, solar power, and hybrid and EV vehicle maintenance
  • Investment in centres where the partner Colleges can support the employability skills of learners in partnership with local businesses
  • New Virtual Reality and digital equipment to enable the partners to use modern teaching tools and meet the local skills need in the latest digital technologies.
  • New green technologies for agriculture to enable teaching and learning to meet the needs of the modern workplace and to support the transition to Net Zero
  • Training for staff to upskill them in green technologies, and the latest digital teaching tools and curriculum requirements
  • Community soft skills programmes and soft skills training for local businesses
  • Resources and development time to create and deliver new curriculum in Local Skills Improvement Plan priority areas – soft skills, digital skills and Net Zero skills.
Electric Vehicles in the EV studio at Suffolk New College

Digital Futures Conference

Following the very successful New Anglia Green Skills Conference in 2023, this event brought together all the FE and HE partners in the LSIF project as well as key stakeholders from industry and the wider skills and training sector to look at the challenges and opportunities of ensuring we are training effectively for a digital future.

The Conference was held on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at The Hold, Ipswich and featured speakers from across the education and technology sector.

Key stakeholders at the Digital Futures Conference

Norfolk and Suffolk LSIF Business Training Programme

This bitesize training offer featuring courses from the Colleges and Independent Training Providers will cover all the local priority areas – soft skills, digital skills and green skills, in response to priorities identified by employers in the Local skills Improvement Plan.  It will be promoted on the Local Skills Improvement Plan website, and at events across the region in March 2024 and is intended to be an ongoing responsive collaborative initiative to help ensure local providers meet the needs of business.

Adults using a laptop computer

The Green Skills Careers Inspiration Zone

A key collaborative output of the project is a Green Skills Careers Inspiration Zone exhibition stand.   This is being developed by the LSIF partnership in consultation with the Chambers of Commerce, County Councils, and many other regional stakeholders with a common interest in ensuring the workforce of the future is equipped for Net Zero.

The exhibition stand will be present at the 2024 Suffolk and Norfolk Shows and Suffolk and Norfolk Skills and Careers Shows.  The individual component materials and activities will then be available for collaborative or individual partner events in future.

An illustration showing the question "What is the legacy"

Suffolk New College LSIF highlights will include:

  • The launch of ePass+, a new adult employability skills app to help adult learners and local businesses build workforce skills.
  • New Industry Spaces at the Ipswich Campus and Suffolk Rural campuses where employers can engage with learners and support them to build their workplace skills and career aspirations.
  • Transformative investments at Suffolk Rural to create green environments for our landbased teaching and learning, and an employability skills centre for our animal studies learners.
  • A new transition space at our Ipswich Campus to help us support anxious learners and those on the autistic spectrum to transition into technical and vocational programmes.
  • Investments in Virtual Reality and digital resources and equipment – our VR Hotspots around all our campuses, embedding digital skills in all areas.
  • CPD projects for staff in digital and green skills.
  • Equipment for our Net Zero Skills Centre to help us deliver the right courses and qualifications in this area.
  • Creative arts sustainability projects as we continue to embed sustainability in everything we do.
A photo of the Ipswich campus.