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Delivering for Dorset: Innovation, enterprise & careers education

Posted on: 22/12/2021

A new video from local economic growth organisation, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), highlights how, working with local partners, they’ve delivered innovative projects across the county. Dorset LEP has created new jobs by helping businesses grow and supporting skills and career opportunities for Dorset’s young people and those looking to up-skill or re-train for new roles.

Cecilia Bufton, Dorset LEP Chair, said: “We’re proud to share this video which provides some examples of how, over the past year Dorset has invested in its future, through innovations in defence, health, engineering, and enterprise. We’ve supported recovering and rapidly growing businesses; continued to analyse the rapidly changing local skills market and helped to inspire young people into new careers.”

Watch the full Dorset LEP Delivery 2021 video at: www.dorsetlep.co.uk/achievements

The video features projects supporting local businesses with innovations in defence technology, investment in state-of-the-art agri-tech facilities, and crucial border control improvements at the Port of Poole following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Dorset Gateway, Dorset LEP’s business support service, is featured having recently offered crowdfunded support, e-commerce, and international trade advice to help businesses stay open and expand. To date, Dorset Gateway has supported more than 4,600 Dorset businesses, secured more than £1.5m from Innovate UK in grant funding for local businesses, and provided over 700 hours of 1-2-1 bid writing support to over 50 businesses. The team continues to deliver its successful Peer Networks programme, a skills brokerage service, and trade advice clinics.

Poole-based business Term Footwear benefitted from crowdfunded support and Dorset LEP trade advice. Sharon New, Term Footwear Co-founder, says: “It’s been great to speak to Dorset LEP to find markets, funding, and trade fairs. They’ve helped us get through the Brexit minefield of how to deliver internationally.

The Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis also received crowdfunded support, with academy Principal, Will Reed, commenting that: “Dorset LEP provided the funds to do what we needed to do. We’ve expanded the workshop and provided screens and sanitisers which we needed to remain open.”

Watch extended videos with Term Footwear and Boat Building Academy on Dorset LEP’s Vimeo channel.

Supporting skills in Dorset has been high on the agenda for Dorset LEP. The crucial labour market intelligence they have developed has been provided to government, universities, schools, and businesses throughout the year. This data shows the demand for labour in Dorset and reveals regularly updated industry, occupations, salary, automation, and employment trends. Practical support activities have included helping people evaluate their health, finance, and employment skills through a MidLife MOT programme.

Dorset LEP’s careers education support service, Dorset Careers Hub, also features in the video. Dorset Careers Hub has worked with over 70 schools, facilitating online talks from industry experts, and connecting young people with virtual work experience opportunities during the pandemic.

Baron Miles, Budmouth Academy teacher and careers leader, said: “Dorset Careers Hub has helped Budmouth by supporting us with resources and providing talks from industry. They organised over 230 work experience placements online through Speakers for Schools, a real achievement I think.


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