LSIP highlights key challenges businesses face across the region

August 29, 2023

The LSIP report has identified some key challenges that businesses are facing across the region.  You can read the full LSIP report here. 

Domination of Micro-businesses

The region is saturated with micro-businesses and SMEs. Employees in these businesses account for 30% of the total working population. Businesses of this size can face capacity and monetary constraints – this often limits how much they can be heard in the overarching skills conversations.

Deprivation and regional disparities

There are clear variations between each of the areas subeconomy across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. East Cambridgeshire has the highest economically active population at 88% whilst Peterborough has the lowest at 76%. This shows that greater support is needed in different areas across the region to encourage business growth, job creation and upskilling.

Education and Skills

One of the key features of the LSIP is its ambition to identify the specific skills required by employers. Skills are part of a holistic concept of competency, involving the mobilisation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to meet complex demands. The Chamber has adopted the following definition of skills “A skill is the ability to achieve a specific task at an agreed performance standard, i.e., we can all kick a ball, but we are not professional footballers who can kick a ball with accuracy and skill.”

Skills Data

Outside of the new vocational qualification such as T-Levels and Apprenticeship standards there is no consistently agreed set of skills associated with job roles or occupations. Lightcast, one of the leading suppliers of labour market analytics, classifies skills into common, specialised and certified skills. However, other skills classifications exist such as the Skills Builder Partnership that focuses on ‘essential skills’ and is widely used by business and providers.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is using skills to provide insights on the transition to the world of work. It suggests there are 3 types of skill:

  • Basic skills: These skills (such as literacy, numeracy and ICT (Information Communication Technology) skills) are considered as a prerequisite for further education and training and for acquiring transferable and technical skills.
  • Transferable skills: These are skills that are relevant to a broad range of jobs and occupations and can be easily transferred from one job to another. They include, but are not restricted to, problem-solving and other cognitive skills, physical skills, language skills, socio-emotional and personal behavioural skills.
  • Job-specific/technical skills: These are skills particular to an occupation which include specialist knowledge needed to perform job duties; knowledge of products or services produced; ability of operating specialised technical tools and machinery; and knowledge of materials worked on or with.

Our engagement with stakeholders identified a fourth category of skills referred to as ‘work ready skills.’   Work ready skills are the skills and behaviours that employers expect that all employees should be able to demonstrate when they start work.


These are only a handful of the key challenges that businesses are facing across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The LSIP will identify and work to address these challenges with the help of key stakeholders across the region.